33 Things I Learned As A Health Blogger In 365 Days

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Given my recent OSG 1st Birthday celebration (don’t forget to enter the contest!), I wanted to take some time to reflect on the past year and what I have learned from blogging.

Here are 33 things that being a health blogger has taught me:

1) Blogging is hard work, but it is also fun and inspiring so I don’t mind it. I spend a minimum of 3 hours a day blogging. That doesn’t always include the time spent prepping/styling food, photography, emails, creating recipes, etc.

2) There are so many amazing people out there who have the same interests as I do! I have met so many fabulous people since I started blogging. I really feel like I am a part of a wonderful and supportive community.

3) Photography is a huge passion of mine and the blog has only solidified this. I am always thinking about how I can take interesting pictures of things in my life.

4) Our Canon 30D SLR gets more use than it ever did! I now feel like it was a worthwhile investment because I use it every single day. A SLR and macro lens will take average looking pictures to incredible looking pictures, but you need to know how to use the camera. Lots of practice and trial and error!

5) We all just want to be loved and appreciated and acknowledged. We want to be understood. We want to connect with others in a meaningful way. I think about all of the wonderful bloggers out there and I see this common theme everywhere. We are all the same…going through this life and trying to do the best we can just like anyone else!

6) Find what you are passionate about and then write about it. Energy and enthusiasm is really contagious. No one would read my blog if I was blogging about politics because I have no passion in writing about that. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU LOVE and then go write about it!

7) Negative comments are draining; positive comments are energizing.

8.) It is easy to let blogging take over your life…your social and home life. If you are spending more time on your computer than with your partner or friends, it is time to change it up. I have a rule- I don’t blog when Eric is home from work and we have our together time. I used to do that and I think he really felt disconnected from me. I do my blogging on my own time.

9) I fall in love and out of love with blogging, depending on the day. Just like any other job or hobby, you will have good days and bad days.

10) 99% of all of the ‘good blog topic’ ideas I think of are soon forgotten because I don’t write them down! I need to reintroduce my voice recorder. ;)

11) Editing is a pain in the ass. Especially when you just spent 2 hours writing something and you need to get to bed.

12) Windows Live Writer is essential for all bloggers. It cut down my blogging time in half. However I have had a major bug in my WLW the past month and it is quite frustrating because I can’t fix it! You win some, you lose some I guess!

13) Blogging after a bad day is therapeutic. I feel like I get free counseling sessions every time I talk about something that is bothering me because I have so many wonderful people offering their own advice and experience. However, sometimes when I have a bad day I have no desire to blog at all. It’s hard to feel vulnerable sometimes and face the world when you just want to crawl under the covers.

14) I never thought I could learn how to redesign my own website, but I did- twice! Thanks to Eric for teaching me how.

15) Doing giveaways takes up a lot of time. Try to get the company to agree to ship the product themselves and it will save you time.

16) Blogging can make you obsessed and crazy. When I feel like either, I know it is time to take a step back and take a day off the computer entirely.

17) Be careful about what you say, but not too careful. I try to always speak from the heart even if I know that I am going to upset people who don’t agree with me. I figure the day that I start censoring myself too much is the day when I need to quit. Otherwise, what is the point if I am not being true to myself?

18) It is almost impossible to make certain foods look appealing. Like black bean hummus or chia pudding for example. ;)

19) Some things should always be private- in my life anyways! I get emails asking me to write about certain things and I politely decline if I don’t feel comfortable about revealing certain things about my personal life.

20) People like when you blog about screwing up. It humanizes you.

21) I will never enjoy Google Reader. Call me old school, but I prefer to visit my favourite blogs the good old fashioned way. I find that beautiful websites look horrible in Google reader! I love the entire experience of viewing a blog in its’ intended format. I still use a favourites list in a special blog folder to this day!

22) Not everyone in your life is going to like your blog or even read it….it’s no biggie. Eric doesn’t even read my blog!

23) Sketchie needs his own blog, but I’m scared if I do, no one will visit me anymore. hahah.

24) People will say things to you or about you that they would never say to you in real life. C’est la vie.

25) Variety is the spice of life. I listened to you guys when you said that it wasn’t necessary to post a picture of my green monster every morning. Mix it up and change it up! Repetition of the same foods is not very fun to read about. If I find that I don’t have anything new to contribute I often won’t post at all.

26) It is OK to say no. Each week I receive a lot of requests to do things. I started to get overwhelmed by it all and I had to learn that it is OK to say no. Don’t let yourself feel guilty over things that you can’t do. Do your best and that should be good enough.

27) Don’t accept every product offered to you by a company. I am very discerning with the products I agree to review. I turn down about 80-90% of the offers that companies send me because I simply don’t need it. I am still flabbergasted when companies ask me to promote a weight-loss product…how off-putting!

28) Respond to emails right away whenever possible. I used to leave emails marked as unread and then have to go back to them. It is much, much quicker to just answer the question immediately (if possible) then to have to go back and find all of them.

29) Bloggers are just normal people! I remember being SO intimidated when I first emailed some of my favourite bloggers and then I found out that they are just normal people too! Drop me a line to say hi anytime! press@ohsheglows.com

30) Don’t make yourself adhere to a specific blogging schedule (unless you really want to of course). It stressed me out posting content-heavy posts 3 times a day. Do what works for you and you only! When I feel inspired, you will see a post from me. That I can guarantee. Luckily I feel inspired quite a bit with this blog! ;)

31) I’ve never done so many challenges in my life or entered so many contest giveaways!!!!

32) It is ok to EAT (healthy portions!!!) and not feel ashamed!!! I used to think it was a crime to love food, but now I realize that there are so many women who just love to share their passion about all these amazing foods and recipes. Food is now fun in my life again. The first blog I followed was Eat Like Me. I remember being shocked at how she could eat without worrying or counting calories, and here I am today doing the same thing and I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.

33) Most of all have FUN, grow, laugh, live, and learn!!!!! We are on the brink of this amazing movement right now and we can all benefit so much from sharing our insights and experiences with each other!

~~~~

I’m curious- what have YOU learned as a blogger or blog reader?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

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Darlene December 30, 2009

hi, I’m a photographer, traveler and food lover! I have blogged about all three and currently my new husband (3 months) and I are RVing our way across the southern US and back up into eastern Canada. We will be in our RV almost 6 months and this is our first journey, so we created a blog so our family and friends can follow us, see photos, etc.

My husband Rob is a blogger and has been for years, so he’s taught me so much about it, SEO, rankings, stats, etc. Seems we’re both lucky to have guys that can help us with our blogging, and even though I consider myself very tech savvy I still leave the details to him to set up.

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Marianne November 13, 2009

If you are still having problems with WLW, contact Microsoft support. I had issues with mine, and although it took some emailing back and forth, they were able to solve the problem.

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Jesse November 4, 2009

great post. your blog is very inspiring. i just checked out live writer for the first time tonight — thanks to you mentioning it above — and i LOVE it. thank you :)

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Nicci@NiftyEats November 4, 2009

Angela, I love all your 33 Things. I always tell myself ”always have fun when blogging”!

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katrina m November 3, 2009

this is COMPLETELY unrelated… hahaha. but after my first experience with quinoa this morning, i was left wondering…. how exactly DOES one “rinse” quinoa??? i had it everywhere!!!

I dont know…I dont rinse mine!!!! lol. I tried rinsing lentils tonight and it was a disaster! ~A

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carolinebee November 3, 2009

AW ang i love these sooooooooooo much you are SO SO SO Right (haha except you know I would be all ova that sketchie blog LOL) I can’t believe you JUST started blogging a year ago (me too me too!) You are an amazing person and your dedication and creativity and kindness SHINE through in all of your posts. Love ya Ang!!

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Leslie November 3, 2009

Hi Angela,

A year ago I’d never read a blog, commented on a blog or done a blog. Then I found myself in a sweltering café in Thailand trying to write an e-mail home. I realized that instead I could send a link that friends/family could visit at their leisure. The travel blog motivated me to push myself further and seek out experiences.

Since returning home, I started a different blog to help me reach goals like running a marathon. Knowing that the journey will be in public view gives extra oomph to get moving on those rainy, November mornings. I learned that both having a blog and reading blogs can have the effect of a workout buddy.

I recently started reading your blog and I LOVE it. Your Food Inc posts motivated my fiancé and I to look into volunteering at organic farms in our area and to do more cooking at home. I’m excited to keep reading about your adventures!

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Amanda Katherine November 3, 2009

Sketchie should have a blog. :) One of my other favorite blogs (young house love) has a blog just for their pug, too cute. It is crazy what a year brings. Thanks for sharing what you have learned.

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Jessie November 3, 2009

I totally agree about Google Reader. I subscribe to Google Reader so I can check one place to see when their are new posts but then I go straight to the actual blog to read.

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Diana November 3, 2009

Awesome post Angela! :)

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Lesley November 3, 2009

This post left me with a smile on my face!

As a blog reader, I have learned about foods I didn’t even know existed before! I am inspired everyday by the blogs I read, and they really helped me on my journey to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Alex November 3, 2009

I am loving this journey every step of the way and I am so glad I dove into the blogging world.
Through I’ve learned that I do have the guts to try new things, that i can actually cook, and that I trust bloggers on their opinions. I never would have eaten half the food (nutritional yeast, anyone?) normally- I can thank all the food bloggers for that!
Another thing I have learned is that it is okay to be normal and that everyone’s idea of normal is different- and that’s okay. I know appreciate the ideas of tit thought.
And finally, blogging has made me realize my beliefs and what I stand for, ultimately making me a stronger person.

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Alex November 3, 2009

Ahhh- “it” not “tit”. Oh goodness. Ma bad!!!

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Emily Eats and Exercises November 3, 2009

I’m only about a month into being a blogger, but I’m loving it! I’m in the process of getting to a healthy weight and I wanted a way to stay accountable to a healthy lifestyle. I wasn’t sure if blogging would be inspirational or feel too much like a food police, but I’m happy to report it’s definitely the former. My blog encourages me to explore a variety of foods and experiment with recipes. It makes me prepare a meal and sit down and eat it – no munching straight out of the bag. Plus, I’m sure to get in all my fruits and veggies! I find that I’m eating healthier but I’m not counting calories or obsessing.
Plus I love getting inspiration from others – I love reading about all your running adventures!

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Shannon November 3, 2009

Great post! I can’t imagine ever being able to spend as much time as you do on your blog, but I carve out a little window each day and enjoy it so much. Even more, I enjoy the people I am getting to know!

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Miz November 3, 2009

GREAT POST!!

youve learned a ton, sure, but given us so so much as well.

Carla

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Stella November 3, 2009

This is so inspirational! I’m just starting my own healthy living blog and it’s been amazing to find such a great community of people who are interested in the same things as me. This is a great list of lessons, thanks for sharing!

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Organic Ashley November 3, 2009

Hi Angela,
I am a vegan too and after putting my meals for a week into a calorie counter online. I noticed I had very little protein and a ton of fat, all healthy fats of course.
As a fellow vegan, I thought it would be great if you could do a post on vegan sources of protein that were low in fat.
Thanks!

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Katie November 3, 2009

Eat Like Me was the first food blog I read too. I thought it was an odd concept, but it still intrigued me. It didn’t take long before I discovered the handful that I now read, and honestly it has changed the way I look at food forever!

I’ve struggled with disordered eating since 7th grade (I’m now 21) and being able to see all of these fit and healthy women eating real and delicious food without stressing about calories truly opened my eyes.

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Tania November 3, 2009

As a reader, I’ve learned I definitely want to start my own blog! I have a lot I want to share. Thanks to all the fantastic blogs out there for inspiring me!

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