Words and food

I started my career in earnest at The Kansan by working as a columnist my sophomore year. The title was “Pursuit of Healthfulness,” which later became the inspiration for this blog.

I enjoyed the platform that the column gave me to reach out to KU students and bring up topics that were important to me…

In the second semester of sophomore year, I became the editor of the opinion section. Although I loved the new opportunities this role gave me, it didn’t provide much free time to write. Therefor, my column went on temporary hibernation.

This semester, I don’t have too much more time to spare, but I did want to get back into writing columns. So, with no further ado, here is my first column of the year…

Few people set out with goals to hurt others. Yet, as history has repeatedly shown, it happens.

Aside even from the world’s most memorable events of evil, smaller cases of wrongdoing happen day after day, year after year.

Unlike Hitler, who undoubtedly had a moment where he thought, “Hmm, maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” the majority of pain-infliction happen with otherwise good intentions.

I know this, because I’ve been there. Although the pain I caused was less than that of a holocaust or genocide, it was still very real.

Last year, I got very hung up on the idea of “being healthy.” I listened to all of the nutritional advice, attempted all the exercise tips and pushed my body to its limit. Then, I turned around and offered advice to others on how to be similarly “healthy.”

But, somewhere along the way, I passed the boundaries of healthfulness and crossed into dangerous territory.

Instead of getting stronger and fitter, I was getting weaker. Yet, I continued to preach of healthfulness.

Consequently, not only was I hurting myself but I was certainly hurting the self-esteem and confidence of those around me.

Even worse, I was hurting my friends and family. These people were forced to witness to all of this, yet were helpless in taking action.

It was only when I was shocked very harshly back into reality, that I realized just how wrong my perception of health had become.

Since that time, I’ve taken a step back and assessed what’s important in life. From this reflection, I’ve come to recognize that health is and will always be important to me. However, I’ve also recognized that I never should sacrifice the pursuit of healthfulness for the pursuit of happiness.

After all, Thomas Jefferson was a smarter man than I.

Not everyone will face the same issues as me—or so I hope. Unfortunately, I’m sure that everyone will face challenges of some kind.

This isn’t a sentence to a life of pain or an excuse to feel self-pity. Instead, the torment we all experience is an opportunity. Reflect on it, learn from it and grow because of it. Then, pass the lesson on.

If I can help someone because of my experiences, then good. If you can help another person because of your own experiences, then even better.

(As published in The University Daily Kansan on October 1, 2010.)

Another thing I learned from my experiences, is how to really appreciate food. I experiment, I savor, I share and I pass the best-of-the-best along to you.

Of the latest of my creations is something too good to keep to myself…

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C WW flour
  • 1/3 C AP flour
  • Scant 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C soy milk (or skim milk)
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 flax eggs (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 C peanut butter
  • 1/3 C powdered sugar
  • 3 T soy milk (or skim milk)

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, milk, water, flax eggs and vanilla.
  • Mix everything together including the chocolate chips. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Pour half of the batter into greased 8×8 in. pan.
  • In another bowl, mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Pour that layer over top the brownie layer. Top with remaining brownie batter.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

And, that is my gift to you.

Questions: Were you ever involved in journalism?

My high school newspaper was a bit of a joke, so I worked on the yearbook. I was editor my senior year. Now, I work on The Kansan… but if you’ve read this blog before, you’d already know that. (:

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5 responses to “Words and food

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