Happy Birthday, Living Healthy in the Real World!

February 25, 2009

Today marks the one-year anniversary for my blog. A year ago today, I published my first post!

(Hopefully both my understanding of health and my skill in writing have improved muchly over that period of time).

To celebrate, I baked a batch of these peanut butter cookies last night. They turned out beautifully, perchance because I was being supervised by the recently-returned roommate. I can attest to them being really delicious because nine out of the very large 14 cookies I baked were gone within a couple hours, and that was just between the scarfing down of two people (okay, I admit it! I was six of those cookies. What can I say, I likes me my peanut butter).

These are, at least, certainly one of the healthiest peanut butter recipes I’ve come across, and they have a delightfully very rich buttery taste even though there’s no butter in them besides the peanut butter (that’s such a misleading statement for me to have written, isn’t it? By which I mean, the butter is replaced with olive oil. And here I’ve gone and made you think that there’s no other fats in the recipe besides the peanut butter. I hate it when I come across sneaky statements like that. How annoying is it to come across a recipe that proclaims to be sugar-free but is then loaded with artificial sweetener or similar? Anyways. Back to the rant-free birthday celebrations!).

These cookies are super easy and they use maple syrup instead of sugar, so you can be all Canadian-esque when you’re making them. They’re also vegan-friendly! I made a half batch and used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour, but other than that I didn’t change any other ingredient. A defining moment in my kitchen’s history, I’m sure.

And now to subject you all to a somewhat sappy Academy Awards-style gushing, minus the awesome fashion show:

I adore blogging and the whole community involved. But I didn’t really know what blogging was until a little over a year ago. I have to thank Leslie of Never Say Diet and Locker Room Diaries for being super sweet and letting me pester her over a year ago to ask questions about how she got into the health writing business. If it hadn’t been for her passing comment that a good way to get started with it would be to begin my own health blog, Living Healthy in the Real World would never have been born!

Also a big thank you to MizFit for being my first ever commenter. Getting comments really makes my day. I still get giddy that you all actually take the time to read, ponder, and discuss.

Looking back to when this blog first started up, I wasn’t sure exactly how the blog would pan out, what kind of writing style I’d want to use, or how personal I wanted to get. “Health” is a rather vague term and encompasses an enormous range of possibilities. It’s through trial and error that we determine what we want to say, how we want to say it, and how much feedback we want (around here? Lots. Feedback. Discussion. Comments queries critiques. All are welcome and encouraged).

At first this was mostly a blog to address some of the health issues circulating in the media, and also to rant. And, let’s face it, we’re still a blog that like to address current health issues and we’re always up for a good rant or two. I like to think there’s been some evolution as well, with involving recipes and fitness challenges and product reviews and personal experiences/thoughts as well as addressing health issues in the media and in research studies. We’ve come along way in just a year.

And now I’m curious: for those of you who do blog, why did you start blogging? What inspired you to do so and is there a line you draw for how personal you’re willing to go? How has your blog evolved over time? Where do you see yourself going with it? Also, the opportunity is always open for you to voice your thoughts on how this blog is run- anything you want more of? Less of? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!


  1. Happy Blog-irthday!! Congrats Sagan!!

    I started blogging because a big part (and my fav part) of my daily life is educating my clients and I just wanted to share the knowledge in hopes that my readers can get something out of it!

    Have a fab day!!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I have been blogging for years just in different fashions and I love the immediacy of the feedback. Unlike magazine writing I know if people love or loathe that day πŸ™‚

    and, yes, mainly to help people…to give away any knowledge I have accrued and to build a community.

  3. Happy happy birthday!!

  4. Happy blogiversery! Hopefully this is just the first of many, many more!

  5. HAPPY 1-YEAR BLOGIVERSARY, GIRL!!!!!!!! You better keep it up!! πŸ˜€

  6. Congratulations Sagan! One of your big fans here! I have really enjoyed following your blog. You write so well, and cover a great variety of topics.

    I started blogging quite by accident, really. I was invited into it, surprised I could do it, and then realized it offered me another way to help more people that I couldn’t reach with a knife πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to the Sagan’s next trip around our sun!!

  7. Happy Blogiversary!!! Comments are the best, aren’t they? Make my day πŸ™‚ i finally started my blog after reading food blogs for a good year, searching for healthier recipes…

  8. Happy Blog Birthday Sagan! You’ve come a long way in a year and I look forward to seeing where you go next!

  9. Happy bloggobirthday, Sagan! I think you’re a very talented writer who is really going places :).

  10. Happy Bday!!! Thanks for the recipe, anything peanut butter related is always appreciated.
    I also started blogging by accident – I started reading the Bag Lady and was commenting on her blog, and somehow decided I would follow her lead…it’s been fun!

  11. Congrats and Happy Bloggobirthversary! I love that you made PB cookies to celebrate – they sound absolutely delicious.

    I kind of started blogging to help me lose the 15 pounds I’d gained and help me deal with my eating issues from the past. I’d love to be a more frequent poster but ’tis hard when I do not own my own computer. Hopefully this will happen v. soon. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy your cookies!!! I love reading your blog and all of the interesting questions you pose.

  12. Rupal- I love the information you share on your blog and I’m SO happy it’s there- its fun to learn new things about fitness all the time from a professional!

    MizFit- hm yes, it IS nice to know immediately whether or not people like/agree with your writing… can’t imagine you getting much “hate mail” though πŸ˜‰

    Chocolatecoveredvegan & Fatbridesmaid- aw thank you πŸ˜€

    VeggieGirl & Charlotte- HEART the blogging.

    Dr. J- πŸ™‚ It’s funny, I think that every blogger is a little surprised just how easy it is, and how ANYONE can do it. It’s very encouraging to know that!

    ttfn300- and you have some fantastic looking recipes on your site… mmm food blogs.

    Hilary- thanks so much!

    Missicat- Bag Lady IS very inspiring πŸ™‚

    Holly- writing about those kinds of journeys makes such a huge difference, doesn’t it? Hope you get your own computer soon- more of Cookie Dough Discipline is always a good thing!

  13. I first started reading blogs in 2005, but mostly personal finance and investing blogs.

    When I started getting really interested in health and fitness, I would take copious notes from the books and articles that I read. Then I thought, hey why don’t I just slap together a blog and have some of this information accessible for my sisters. And it grew from there.

    I have been blogging for a little over a year like you. I am starting to feel a little narcissistic. I hate to say this, but I love talking about myself on my blog. πŸ˜€

  14. I didn’t _mean_ to start blogging–I just set up a blogger account so I could comment on some blogs that didn’t take anonymous comments. Then the empty pages just stared at me with big pitiful eyes. To my surprise, I keep thinking of things to say. It’s only been three months, though, so we’ll have to see where I am in a year.

    Happy Blogiversary! gratefully peanutty,

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  15. Happy Blogiversary!

    And please stop by Cranky Fitness–we had a redraw on a giveaway contest, so it looks like you may be getting an anniversary present!

  16. Happy Blog-birthday, Sagan!
    I love your blog – thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    I started blogging because I’d been reading my cousin, Leah’s blog for a long time, and finally got up the nerve to comment. Eventually, the bloggers I was reading talked me into starting my own.
    (And I had no idea I influenced Missicat’s starting her own blog – that’s so cool!)

  17. Those cookies sound delicious. Doesn’t seem like anybody is giving you any constructive criticism. I haven’t got much either… your posts are pretty addictive as they are. I suppose that me being me I would like to see more about the psychology, philosophy, and sociology of exercise and different forms. But that could alienate a chunk of your audience, so, indeed.

  18. Happy Birthday “Living Healthy in the Real World” and Congratulations for making it this far so successfully! Your blog is by far one of my favorites! It’s unique, you’re an amazing writer, I agree with many of your health-wise opinions and am fascinated by the new facts you share. But most of all I feel inspired by it and you and so I come back post after post to read what you have to say.

    I started blogging, in some part, because of you. I found myself intrigued by the blogosphere and wanted my way in but by marking my own path :). That’s when I realized that reading about future my travels might interest others… and the rest is history!

  19. Congratulations! You have an amazing blog! I look forward to many more of your journey updates! Yes..Miz is awesome!

  20. Congratulations! I, for one, am so glad you’re here!

    Thanks for that peanut butter cookie recipe. I’m an addict and you have supplied my crack. πŸ™‚

  21. Happy Birthday!!! And congrats on developing such and informative blog. It’s nice to have you with us.

  22. Congratulations! I started blogging to just keep myself on track. It’s a lot of fun and the support is great.

  23. Happy blog birthday, Sagan! You’ve got a terrific blog and it’s been fun to read along on your journey.

    I started blogging two years ago for Shape.com when I was writing the magazine’s Weight Loss Diary column. When that ended, I kept going with my own blog to keep myself on a healthy track. With my book coming out in just a few more weeks (!!), I’m blogging regularly now on the topic of mothers, daughters and body image.

    As a writer, my philosophy has always been that the personal is universal, so I’m willing to share quite a bit because I know others face the same issues I do and by talking about them together, we can all learn and grow.

    Keep up the great work, Sagan. And thanks for being such a great supporter and faithful reader of my blog :-).

  24. Congratulations on blogging for a whole year! I have just started and hope to be still going this time next year.

    I didn’t want to share anything personal about my health/weight loss, so I was very hesitant to start blogging. But so far it’s been the best thing I have done, by reminding me constantly to keep up healthy habits. It’s also helped to see the next steps on my health journey by learning and writing about all the things that have de-railed me in the past.

  25. Contragulations Sagan. I started blogging to help people understands studies that come out, and fill in a time gap for the magazine.

  26. Congrats! I’m the same way with cookies – I just cannot stop myself πŸ™‚

    I started out blogging recipes, then I started adding random cool meals, then I did a food diary for a few months but that was wayy to obsessive, so now I’m back to kind of random health/yoga/food related things, and lots of recipes. Hehe – long evolution.

  27. Asithi- heh it IS fun to talk about yourself, though! I like it.

    Mary Anne- I didn’t know you had a blog! You gotta start linking to it when you sign your name so I can read it.

    Crabby- aw gee you didn’t have to get me anything *grabs at video camera* okay if you insist… πŸ˜‰

    Bag Lady- writing that first comment is such a big step, isn’t it?!

    Westwood- ahaha that could be quite a challenge to make it philosophical… BUT I bet you’d gnab a whole bunch of health blogger types into reading YOUR blog if you started incorporating health and fitness into your philosophical discussions πŸ˜‰

    Danielle- you are SO sweet. Am so happy you started up a blog- it’s awesome to live vicariously through you on your travels.

    Mark & Big Girl- am glad you enjoy πŸ™‚

    Cammy- always happy to supply you with it. I mean, wait, um…

    Tony- LOVE the support network.

    Dara- that’s a great philosophy! And I can’t wait to read your book.

    Spring Girl- it’s nice how the personal touch just adds to the whole experience.

    James- so much appreciate the studies that you talk about; every time I go to your site I find out stuff that hadn’t even crossed my mind before.

    Maggie- I hear you on the obsession! Mmm recipes.

  28. Congratulations!!!

    I blog as kind of a diary. Getting off my chest. I started blogging so that the people whose blogs I read would know who I was.

    I draw the line at blogging about other people’s personal stuff. I don’t write anything about my friends and family (except my kids and husband.) I don’t know who is reading, and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

    I really love your blog. Keep up the great work. πŸ™‚

  29. Happy Blog-Birthday!

  30. Happy blogiversary!! What a great accomplishment!

    I started blogging as a way to motivate myself. I still find it motivational – but I also love how much I learn from blogging and the interactions with the kind people who actually read my blog. I love when people comment, and I love when people ask questions.

  31. Happy blog birthday!! Love reading you everyday!

    Kelly Turner

  32. Happy Blogging Birthday Sagan! Your blog will always be in my top faves so I am soooo happy to have had an entire year of you! (And I think PB cookies were a perfect way to celebrate!)

  33. Happy One-Year Sagan!!! Very cool!

    I love your blog, your writing, your mix…it’s all good!

    Me? It’s really been a journey for me. I began thinking I would write about personal finance and health/fitness — and in no way get personal. What’s happened? I don’t blog at all about personal finance, some about health/fitness, and much about personal growth. And…it’s all gotten way more personal over the course of the last several months. All part of the journey. And I think part of that, with everyone really, is you learn about yourself as you go.

    Now, if you don’t mind…may I have one of those cookies? Or, are they all gone already!!!!

    Here’s to much more from this great place on the net…

  34. oh awesome! I was looking for a cookie recipe without sugar. May I use this and put it on my blog next week? I have given up sugar for Lent, and while I am pretty sure cookies in all forms are not on my list of allowed foods, it is great to see a cookie without a sugar substitute in place of the sugar.

    I also started blogging about a year ago – mostly because I wanted to capture my day-to-day activities around food. Feeding my family, trying new recipes, checking out new kitchen gadgets. I am still struggling to find my core topic, but fortunately, I have not run out of things to say yet!

    Happy Bloggy Birthday, best wishes for another great year!

  35. I feel bad that I’m getting here so late Sagan. Happy blogiversary and you know that I find your writing to be very special. I’m amazed that a young woman like yourself has the knowledge and wisdom of someone twice your age. Don’t stop writing as there are some good things in your future.

  36. Robin- I try to be really careful about not blogging about other people either. Kind of nice to have a diary to share with others!

    Tricia & Ashley- Thanks πŸ™‚

    Cathy- oh me too. The discussion part about blogging and the sharing of information and learning is tons of fun.

    Lance- love watching blogs as they evolve over time, along with us. I’m so glad you write about personal growth because it’s all super inspiring.

    Gudrun- be my guest, although the sugar is replaced with syrup… sorry if it was misleading! Unless you’re not counting syrup as sugar? I love your idea of blogging about kitchen gadgets; they are so much fun!

  37. Congrats! You may not have known what blogging was all about back in the day, but you do now…and still enjoy it. Good for you!


  38. I started blogging to promote my other website, but it really started to grow on me! Meeting other bloggers, learning about blogging, writing and whatnot has really been a fun journey for me.

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