Highly Recommended Blog: Feeling Good Through Food

Last week I found, courtesy of Facebook, a new-ish blog run by a friend from church.  She’s chronicling her family’s efforts to maintain healthy eating habits, but this little blog is already much more than that.  Each entry gives easy recipes, yes, but the site itself also houses advice on where to find affordable whole foods (even giving specific product brands), and other suggestions for eating this way.  Plus, the stories and pictures of her family learning to eat better makes for terrific reading.  It’s fun, engaging, inspiring, and highly recommended.

I admit I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but I will soon.  After reading Born to Run a couple of months ago, I’m excited to add chia seeds to my diet, and I see them mentioned on Feeling Good Through Food.  Also, I have something of a hobby of making up improvised, healthy smoothies–throwing whatever looks tantalizing into our blender.  For this, also, this blog appears to have things to say to me.  Looking forward to seeing a lot more of it!

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Cleansing the Bloggernacle Vessel

My first introduction to the bloggernacle–before it was even called that–was several years ago when Jeff Lindsay started his Mormanity blog.  I’ve always followed that and have branched out to many other blogs since then.  I’ve seen many interesting, faith-promoting, stimulating, and Christ-centered things online.  I’ve been kindly invited to write at two of the big group blogs (though I have yet to decently follow up on the more recent invitation).  My spiritual life has definitely been enriched by blogs.

But I haven’t seen much good for a long while.  Though it keeps growing in size, readership, and prominence, the overall spiritual worth of the bloggernacle has taken a sharp nose dive recently. 

I’ve been thinking about this all year.  Both in quality and quantity, the parts of the bloggernacle which I frequent have been increasingly disappointing.  New posts come up less often, the material that does get published is less spiritual and less faithful, and more of the links are to things that are practically anti-Mormon.  Comments from people who aren’t regulars tend to be received with quick rudeness and little grace.  Authors who I used to look forward to seem to have disappeared.  I see a drastically growing trend to implicitly impugn our leaders online, and that just isn’t acceptable. 

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The Commonplace Blog

As I finish planning for the fourth quarter of the school year today, I found among my materials from last year my directions for a summative project I made up called “The Commonplace Blog.” 

First, I review with students what a “commonplace” was.  This is especially relevant in American Lit:

“Commonplacing is the act of selecting important phrases, lines, and/or passages from texts and writing them down; the commonplace book is the notebook in which a reader has collected quotations from works s/he has read. Commonplace books can also include comments and notes from the reader; they are frequently indexed so that the reader can classify important themes and locate quotations related to particular topics or authors.”

 

“Students with literary tastes, in days when books were hard to come by, kept ‘commonplace’ or notebooks into which they copied out verses or prose extracts that particularly appealed to them.” The Intellectual Life of Colonial New England, by Samuel Eliot Morison (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1965; reprint of the 2nd ed., 1956): p. 49.

 

“An early practitioner of reflective journaling was Thomas Jefferson. He would synopsize and capture the key points of his readings and add his own reflections, recording them in a journal which he called his ‘commonplace book.’ One of his biographers quoted Jefferson as saying ‘I was in the habit of abridging and commonplacing what I read meriting it, and of sometimes mixing my own reflections on the subject’ (Cunningham, 1987, p. 9). His tutor, James Maury, commended the practice as a means ‘to reflect, and remark on, and digest what you read’ (Wilson, 1989, p. 7).”-Herman W. Hughes, Dialogic Reflection: A New Face on an Old Pedagogy

 

So, it’s a very old tradition of keeping clips of writing you like in a sort of scrapbook.  For more about commonplace books, and especially to see how important they were in the early American tradition, see this article from Yale.

 

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