A Word From Your Blogger…

by Rachel on July 20, 2011

First: I picked a random winner for the Love Grown Foods granola giveaway! The winner is Bianca, who said, “I’ve heard so many good things about Love Grown Foods but have still yet to try it! My perfect breakfast would be the Cocoa Goodness granola with some chocolate almond milk on a bright but cool weekend morning. It sounds like the perfect pre-run or pre-workout fuel!” Well, congrats to you, lady! I’ll e-mail you later today to get your address.

So the picture above? Is of my lunch. (Via Instagram — follow me at RachWilks!) I’ve been noticing lately that a lot of bloggers post pictures of their food. Is this some kind of a trend?

OK I’m kidding…I used to take more pictures of my food and talk about my workouts in my “Lemme Work It” posts back when I blogged on Shedding It & Getting It (oh it feels like so long ago!). I wanted to be like all the other healthy living blogs, but these days, I do mostly storytelling and mindcasting over lifecasting. And swearing and sexing. And, honestly, I eat a lot of the same stuff and don’t work out quite as often as I used to. On the other hand, I kind of miss telling you how my day was.

So today you might have seen something like…

Dear Diary,

Last night I did Core Fusion Cardio on Yoga Vibes in my new workout shorts from Target. I had heard via the comments of this Eat, Drink, Run post that they are an amazing replica of the Lululemon Groove short and I decided to pay the $17 to find out. They are! Knockoffs FTW!

For lunch today I ate Greek yogurt with Love Grown pecan granola and blackberries and peanut butter [picture] and bacon on the side. While scarfing it down, I watched the puppies engage each other in what I’ve dubbed ‘Bonermania.’ I’m so excited they are getting neutered this week — Googling “my dog has an erection” isn’t my idea of a good time.

Back in the office, we tried to call a new badge we were creating the Stop! Collaborate and Listen award, but one of the bosses didn’t get it. This led to a fun few minutes on YouTube as we played Vanilla Ice’s hit and proved that everyone under the age of 30 knows all the lyrics by heart.

Tonight I’m going to think about working out, and pretend like I’m going to take a walk outside, but it’s probably going to still be 90 degrees at 8:00, so I’m going to count chasing Charleston and Indiana around for two hours after work wearing yoga pants as cardio and just watch Franklin & Bash (in my yoga pants, because it makes me feel athletic).



Yay or nay? On the one hand, lifecasting can get super boring, I don’t work out that often, and I’m never going to photograph all my food (even though with Instagram I can make it look more special! Like I ate it in the 1970s!). On the other hand, funny little things happen to me quite often and more lifecasting would mean I could post a bit more.

I don’t know…you tell me!

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori July 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Have you tried the Core Fusion Cardio DVD yet? I have a copy that I need to try, review, giveaway but as of today I’ve only gotten as far as watching some of it while laying in bed. Are the shorts that new Champion for Target brand? Been dying to try some of their stuff!

As for your diary entry, written like that, nay. But I KNOW you can say all those things in a much more engaging way in your own way — and I am interested in hearing them.


2 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

1. No to the DVD. Now that I do YogaVibes, I struggle to get as much out of the DVDs.
2. Yes, the shorts are Champion for Target. I have a lot of it and have always been happy with it!
3. I’m kind of insulted you think that diary entry wasn’t written in an engaging way. I was mostly serious that that’s how it would read. I do know that if it’s not written in that stylet, it will becoming storytelling, which takes way more time (and interesting material) so probably wouldn’t lead to more posts.


3 Hannah July 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Whatever you write will be good as long as it’s what YOU want to write. If it isn’t your style, it will show. Just a thought!


4 Taryn July 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I will start off by saying that I am so bored of oatmeal. Dress it up and it’s still fucking oatmeal, people. Yes, it’s delicious and yes, Shock G, I also like mine lumpy, but it’s. Been. Done. Over and over again on a daily basis. Your blog is insightful and interesting, hysterical and intelligent, regardless of if you’re giving a rundown of your day or laying down life lessons. Most blogs are… not.

Basically, let’s just get one thing straight. Your blog is far, far superior to nearly every single “healthy living” blog out there. I mean, it’s better in literally every way possible. So just do what you do, because you outshine them all just by being you. And trust me, I wouldn’t bother saying it if I didn’t mean it.


5 Manon July 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

“Dress it up and it’s still fucking oatmeal, people”. LOVE this.


6 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

First of all, THANK YOU. I really appreciate that you said that and meant it!

SO, good news — I don’t really eat oatmeal. But..I do eat eggs. And it gets boring! I think my goal would be to only share a meal once a week (after that it’s like, OK, you know what scrambled eggs look like…) and to only share the basics of my workouts to just give an idea of what I do regularly to kind of motivate people, as opposed to a play-by-play of each workout.

In any case, I’d try to get as much interesting/funny observations in there as possible. If I were just posting food and workouts…well, I just don’t think I could sleep at night.


7 Phoebe July 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I really like the crop of more “alternative” healthy living blogs a la Rachel’s blog (one of my all time favorites) but by this point I am honestly way more sick of hearing people complain about endless oatmeal pictures, than I am of looking at oatmeal pictures. Seriously, if I’m not interested in breakfast concoctions I can let my eyes roll right past it. I’m getting more annoyed by everyone going “Oatmeal is boring!” like it’s a newly hilarious and incisive comment.


8 Taryn July 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Yikes, I wasn’t trying to be innovative or anything. I even like oatmeal pictures sometimes, they look delicious. I was just trying to convey that Rachel’s blog stands apart from the pack, and she should be proud of it and not worry about what she should or should not be doing with it.

Sorry to annoy you, Phoebe. Maybe next time let your eyes roll past comments regarding oatmeal? Just a suggestion.


9 Phoebe July 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Taryn: I wasn’t trying to be overly negative or to single you out, though I realize that I pretty much did that by posting my comment in your thread, so I apologize. It’s true that a lot of other people besides you have said stuff like that in the comments of this post and like a million others on other blogs; I don’t have a blog of my own and this seemed like kind of a relevant place to express my (pointlessly negative, I realize) minor annoyance. I too like the blogs that stand apart from the pack! And I’m not a defender of oatmeal, I think breakfast bowls and their ilk posts are in general super boring.


10 Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic July 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Woohoo!!! I am so excited to win! :D

Don’t you just love Instagram? I am a little obsessed about it.

Reading about other people’s food and workouts has some sort of voyeuristic property to it which is why so many bloggers do it. Maybe you can try lifecasting again to see how everything works out!


11 kate July 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Obsessed?!… I’m considering buying an iPhone just for instagram!


12 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I was in the same boat…luckily I put the app on my iPad so I wouldn’t go spend $600 on an iPhone. Because yeah…I was fine with Android until Instagram envy hit.


13 kate July 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I’ve gotta say, I miss your workout posts a lot. I mean if you’re not doing it… how is it possible that I’m still doing it?! So how do you stay active once you get wrapped in so much other real life goodness, puppies/love/work? I don’t need food photos or daily recaps, but I miss your perspective on “shedding it!”


14 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Awww, that’s very helpful to hear!

The short answer? I rarely sit down when I’m at home! Between grocery shopping, errands, cooking, cleaning and chasing the puppies around, I’m WIPED OUT every day! But I can expand on this more in future posts.


15 Jessica July 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

I fourth all the above– you do you gf.

Most healthy living blogs read to me like this, “So let me tell you about this day I had. It was so stressful! First I ate this ridiculously elaborate breakfast meal, then I went and worked out for ONLY 3 hours! I know, I’m sucha lazy betch. Imma have such a dumper. Anywhoo then I made a really gross looking smoothie because omg kale is the best thing for you ever! kalekalekale kale! Then after I went to a yoga class and pilates class and ran 4 miles, (I don’t work duhhhhh) my big sexy strong man came home. Anticdote about how great my big sexy strong man is. Life’s hard! Here’s a picture of a dessert I want to eat but don’t.”

If you want to post about your meals/exercising, I will read it and be like, “Gosh, Rachel is so cool. I wish other health blogs could read as fun/exciting/interesting as hers!”

The end.


16 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Did the example post I wrote do that for you? I was trying to take a mostly mundane day and see if it could come across as fun/exciting/interesting.


17 Jessica July 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Ah-cha! The example post was pretty good– it made me think:

a. hmm I should probably try changing up my lunch meal every so often. PB/greekyogurt/blackberries omnomnom. (sidenote– have you tried that cinamon raisin PB? Its, dabomb.com
b. dog erections? red rockets? ewwww. sryyyyy
c. mannnnnnnnnnn i wish my office was that cool. everyone here is, well, boring. #lifeofaparalegal

so in conclusion, i stand by, you do you. If you want to do the “day wrap up” posts, do it to it. but don’t succomb to pressure because healthnutnumero1.blogspot.com does.


18 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

a. No I haven’t! What brand? Where can I get it? I bet Eric would like it.
b. Sorry about the red rockets…it’s what my life has become.

I think the problem is that in general, my life FEELS mundane, so I worry that at the end of the day, it’s still a bowl of yogurt and a workout video and I’m falling into that trap. On the other hand, the challenge of making it interesting is a good one for me!

Also…your original comment was really funny.


19 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Omgosh pb&co makes cinnamon raisin pb that is to die for. Or at least to eat by the spoonful.


20 Jessica July 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Peanut Butter and Company…

Life is mundane– thats why when we are going through it, it feels like days take forever. Then you look back and go, holy sh*t how is it JULY?!


21 Val @ Balancing Val July 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Try to find a delicate balance of both . . .

I find that I switch back and fourth between what kind of posts i like and what kind of posts I post, but I have to say lately the

“just eat and exercise” blogs are so fucking boring that I’ve unsubscribed to pretty much all of them.

I need train wrecks!

I need stories!

I need REAL life.


22 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

It would for SURE be a balance of both, I just wanted to see if anyone wants the “eat and exercise” mixed in.

“I need train wrecks!” Love love love.


23 erin July 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm

totally following you on instagram! under zlie17. I just got an iphone, and my sister told me to join instagram. I don’t usually take a lot of pictures, but i keep meaning to. maybe this will get me into it!


24 Stina July 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I do enjoy lifecasting posts when they’re well done. Unfortunately most of the lifecasting done by bloggers is crap. For lifecasting to be well done, it needs to be entertaining or engaging and unique in some way.

If you’re showing me a picture of your oatmeal and telling me about the totally ridiculous thing that happened to you while making it that’s awesome, but posting the same oatmeal and telling me the same 15 ingredients that have gone into your oatmeal (and every other blogger on the planet’s) for the last 6 weeks is going to bore me to tears after day 1.

You definitely produce high quality entertaining lifecasting posts so I definitely wouldn’t mind more of them.


25 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Thank you! That’s all good to know and keep in mind!


26 Eunice July 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

For bloggers who do it everrryyyyy now and then it can be cool to get a glimpse of their day. You read their blogs because you enjoy their writing, advice, etc, but then occasionally you also get a post about their eating/exercising. I don’t enjoy blogs that are all about lifecasting though.


27 Laura July 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I feel like a lot of your posts now are lifecasting though, they just aren’t focused on health/fitness as much anymore. I imagine it’s just a reflection of how your life and priorities are changing. I think whatever you want to “cast,” as long as it’s in your voice, people will read!


28 Mal July 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I don’t usually comment, but I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I actually like lifecasting posts like the one you did today. And I would definitely like to see more posts from you!


29 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

OK, thanks! Good to know!


30 Jennifer July 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I don’t mind a little lifecasting now and then. I do it occasionally too. But if your daily posts include gems like “Googling ‘my dog has an erection,'” I say, lifecast away!!


31 Rachel July 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I would really try to only lifecast if I had a gem!


32 Emma July 21, 2011 at 8:14 am

That would be key. And because Ive been reading your blog for forever and I trust your integrity, I have faith that the lifecasting would be an interesting addition to what you already do, and not a boring distraction from the good stuff.

Is it a *necessary* addition? I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong – I get excited whenever I see your name in my Reader, and immediately stop what I’m doing to read (seriously, I do) – you always have meaningful, interesting, engaging posts, as evidenced by the discussions in the comments. So if I saw your name more, well, that’d be cool. But it’s totally not necessary; it almost feels like it’s ‘special’ when you post because you *don’t* post every single day.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t do it just because you think we need more posts (the blog is great as is!), and don’t do it if quality could suffer – that def beats out quantity. But knowing your blog, I have no doubt that the caliber will remain high, even if you are lifecasting. So go forth!


33 Jasmine July 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm

“Like I ate it in the 70s” – hehe


34 cindylu July 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm

If I never saw another picture of oatmeal, nut butter jar or greek yogurt, I wouldn’t cry. Funny work stories that include 90s has-beens and puppy tales are fine by me. Lifecasting can be done just fine if the writer is genuine and the stories are interesting.


35 Jules July 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I think the eat and exercise posts would be fine once in a while–as someone said above, the big benefit of eats/food pictures for me is that it pushes me to think “hey, I should make that!” or “oh that sounds delicious!” because I get stuck in ruts alllll the time. Similarly, stories or info about exercise have the same effect.

But I honestly love reading your blog for the very fact that is so different from all the others out there. It makes me laugh, makes me think, makes me take myself both seriously and not-so-seriously about all sorts of things.

I think Stina said it best: as long as lifecasting posts are accompained by the usual superb stories or ‘tudes that make you YOU, then I can’t see why you’d lose readers at all :) Best of luck!


36 jessica July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I vote for some eats and exercise sprinkled in! As someone who has also. Lost quite a bit of weight, I’m always curious how people maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. I do agree with everyone that repetitve oatmeal bowls and green smoothies and not for me (in fact if all you do is tell me what you eat, I probably no longer read). I do appreciate when people share weekly or randomly what their day looks like and think it would be great to see yours:)


37 Mel July 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Just out of curiosity, do you wish you could be posting more? Are you trying to tell us more about what’s going on with you everyday so we can connect with you better?

One of the reasons why I enjoy your blog is because you have a distinctive voice. I’m just wondering if you can maintain that if you’re generating more content which would be mainly life-casting.

I love the storytelling here and I feel like you post the perfect amount. Your posts make me think and also let me feel like I’m getting to know you- and on a more personal level than the bloggers who post 3x times a day to record what they ate, ran, etc.


38 D July 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I think it would be interesting if it’s different!

I don’t like seeing bowls of protein mush, and no matter how many types of bowls you put it in, it’s still a smoothie…but if you have different food/workout things to share, I’d be into reading that.


39 Allison @ Will Run For Candy July 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I’ve noticed that a lot of your older posts tend to mix lifecasting in more, and I found your older posts more engaging, probably since they mixed the life and mind casting. It’s like it gives your readers a context to your life – ‘hey, my days look like this, and this is what I think during them.’ (Obviously way more exciting than that.)

Personally, I enjoy your lifecasting posts and would enjoy seeing more of them!

I get where you’re coming from – I’m trying to figure out what direction my posts should go and have settled on a mix for now – it seems to keep more readers (all, you know, 3 of them. haha.)


40 Becca July 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I do have to say that I miss the SIAGI format sometimes. I had a month between college/study abroad and starting my big kid job in the summer of 2009 and you were pretty much my imaginary best friend :) I’ve always enjoyed all the new products, foods and workouts you’ve written about and I was never bored hearing about your routine and meals. I’ve always felt that your daily recap posts were much more interesting than most others so I definitely don’t mind reading them!


41 cassie July 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

i say do what works for you and what’s in your heart.. honestly i think you can incorporate both the lifecasting and mindcasting .. you have a special blog and if you build we will come no matter what :-) keep doing what you’re doing..


42 Sarah July 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I love everything you post and would love if you posted more but I think it’s more the style.

I feel like when you tell us about your relationship, the puppies, the life lessons and the workouts plus the amazing recipes that you are lifecasting. You are mind casting as well, but you find the perfect balance and you inspire us to think. Your blog doesnt read as a one sided conversation like ‘Omggggg look all these amazing things I did today blah blah blah ‘ (when really the person is probably boring and probably had a mcmuffin for breakfast rather than oatmeal) or that you’re writing because no one else listens to you in real life. It’s seriously like you could be everyone’s BFF and you always want to hear from us.

Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense, but seriously you’re great. Your style, your voice–you keep things fresh. Set the new standard for bloggers rather than photograph the oatmeal.


43 Ashley @fromashleywithlove.com July 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I think your distinctive voice with some mundane tasks and weeknight stories mixed in would be fun to read!


44 mysskay July 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm

you write it, i’ll read it.

i love pics of food and sharing recipes. doesn’t have to be all the time. i also miss the workout posts. again, doesn’t have to be all the time either. mix and match works for me!

thanks for asking :)


45 Chase [The Chase Project] July 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I say nay on the daily diary. I’m over it. I prefer people who weave intriguing stories versus people who data dump their day. Which is why I read your blog :)


46 Ashley July 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Im a no on the daily food pics. I will take pictures occasionally when I go out to eat or bake something but thats all. I only like the really pretty food pictures..and just because they are pretty not because they are of food. I love your blog so much because it is NOT the same ol healthy living blog like a lot of the ones I read are


47 Ashley July 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Oh and more puppy posts would always make me happy :)


48 Claire July 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

WOW that meal looks good. Particularly since it’s so old-fashioned-looking. I don’t know– that just lends a quality of authenticity to it. I need some of that deliciousness!


49 jenna k July 21, 2011 at 1:03 am

that diary post made me lol, not gonna lie.
i like lifecasting-style posts. not everyday, but a couple times a week or so.


50 Lea July 21, 2011 at 5:49 am

I would love to see more blog entries written in your awesome style, even if it does involve (somewhat) mundane topics. I’m not necessarily down with hearing a recap of your daily meals, but if there’s something funny or quirky but still fairly everyday, then let’s hear it! I miss your prolific posting.


51 Jackie July 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

Don’t change a thing!


52 Rachel's Mom July 21, 2011 at 8:18 am

Vanilla Ice….”Word to your mother…” Ha! Gotta love that guy!


53 [SMASH] at Sweat. Style. Swoon. July 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

The only reason I really like this post is because it shows me you’re normal like me — sometimes you just don’t want to workout but you will wear yoga pants around the house. [But I already knew you were normal, obvs.]


54 Rachel July 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

Oh yeah! There is a new Tide commercial out that cracks me up when the girl is talking about how she wears yoga pants to do all these activities and then her friend says something like, “And because they are really really comfortable.” It’s like, yeah…they are basically sweatpants.


55 Brandi July 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

You’re writing style is pretty boss, so I say yay. I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it fun, entertaining, and interesting.
I’m definitely a lifecaster (but like 5 people read my blog) because I share my training and eating habits with my college friends who used to ask me on a daily basis about what I was doing and eating. I rarely post breakfast because it’s always the same. Cheerios. No one wants to see that.
Anyway, I love seeing your posts pop up on my reader so I’m down for more lifecasting posts.


56 Mel July 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

1) It was not lost on me that last night’s Franklin & Bash was called “The Bangover” hahaha Looks like someone’s reading your blog!
2) I still enjoy the style you originated your blog with and I frequently flip back on your old posts from 09 and early ’10. I feel like those posts are still engaging and helpful/insightful without being super time consuming for you to build up into stories. I get that your NYE Resolution was to tell more stories but I think most of your readers will be happy with the content you generate because no matter the form, it still screams “you!” (now please excuse me while I award myself “biggest creeper ever”)


57 Cameo July 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

I am 35 and know all the lyrics! I was 14 – prime audience. I think I even choreographed a dance to it! I’d say most 19 y.o (now 40!) probably knew it too. However, the song had been long forgotten until what, MTV brought Vanilla Ice on some reality show? Entet yall 20 y.o’s. Or maybe because of the fact it is ironically awesome, it has brought it to the forefront by karaoke-loving hipsters.

In other news, I like learning about health and fitness from intelligent, well written blogs. Not: here’s my day of food in photos, which I find a bit boring. I also like blogs with a powerful voice and an interesting perspective on life.


58 Kelly July 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I found your lifecasting post funny and engaging…as are all your posts. I’m sure if you mix it in here and there you’ll continue to keep everyone entertained. :)


59 Sara July 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I love your blog and writing style, if anything i’d love if you blogged more often but I recognise that it takes time and you might not feel like you have something noteworthy to say everyday.

I agree with the comment above about boring oatmeal posts you see on some blogs (although we call it porridge where I’m from).

I think it’d be good to post the intelligent, funny, well thought-out posts the way you do at the minute but add in the odd day to day ‘mundane’ stuff that you may think we don’t want to read – truth is we probably do – your writing style is engaging and keeps me coming back.

To sum up – I like your blog and would like you to update more often but if you spend all your time taking pics of food and blogging about doing laundry you’re not living life to it’s fullest – it’ll just become a chore.


60 Isha July 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I’ve missed your daily life stories; one of my favorite things about blogs is getting a sense of the day-to-day in with the topical posts. I’d love to read some lifecasting!


61 Sarah Crowder (previously Syrup & Honey) July 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I keep coming back because you’re funny and informative…that seems to hold true regardless of what you decide to write about. That’s probably not the helpful feedback you were looking for, but that’s how I feel as a longtime reader.

I was going to say I’m probably not in your targeted demographic, but as a pregnant farmer, well, who the hell’s demographic is that?? Anyone else looking for maternity coveralls for the winter? sigh.


62 Jaclyn July 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

I’d vote for a trip back to your older style as well. No one wants to read straight lifecasting, but you did such a nice balance of mindcasting along with the lifecasting that it was engaging, fun, and encouraging. I wouldn’t even really call what you used to do lifecasting since you never did play-by-plays. General updates about your healthy living life are relatable and fun. I say give it a whirl!


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