Crazeee Foodiful: The Language Of Healthy Eating Blogs

by

[Crossposted from my other blog, The Topofiles]

The very first blog I read was a food blog, written by the irrepressible, uber-whimsical Clothilde Dusoulier, a Parisian software programmer whose blog chronicling the goings-on in her Montmartre kitchen was so good she was able to quit her day job and write anecdotal cookbooks and a bubbly guide to the shops, open air markets, and restaurants of her city. Over a year passed, however, before I read my first healthy-eating blog–which is an entirely different sort of beast. I had purchased a can of regular old fashioned oatmeal, instead of my usual instant, and couldn’t manage to microwave them without getting either an explosion or gruel at beep’s end. So, like any gen-Yer with a question, I went to google, and one of its first answers was from a blog called “For the Love of Oats.” I clicked, found what I was looking for and kept reading, fascinated. Besides endless bowls of oatmeal, the blogger posted every other thing she ate, and most of them weren’t the sort of things requiring recipes or stories. Plain salads, string cheese, peanut butter and jelly…the sort of thing you or I might put together half-heartedly in the bleary hours of the morning and eat, with even less enthusiasm, in front of our computer screens six hours later.

But the blogger was writing about these foods with such affection, giving them human characteristics and movement capabilities, singing their praises with chirpy abandon. And for some reason, I was hooked, and once I’d read all her archives, I started clicking through her blogroll, and from these blogs I found others and others and others until one day I told myself all this lurking had really gotten out of hand, and imposed a ban which lasted until I started researching regionalism in American lifestyle blogs.
I didn’t include many food bloggers in my study, as most of them tended to stick to their bread and butter, but healthy-eating bloggers were perfect, because they tended to write about their daily life and emotions in between pictures of meals. As I began to reread them, two things jumped out at me: a) nearly all of the blogs were written by women in the 18-24 age bracket, most of them in college or young professionals, and b) from coast to coast and top to bottom, they shared a common vocabulary.
The most striking elements of this vocabulary incorporate what I call “lolcatz” and “aimspeak” (mashed-up or deliberately misspelled words, truncated words, and acronyms), though many of the words are unique to the bloggers–words like “hangry” (hungry + angry, or hungry to the point of being cranky), “bloobz” (blueberries), naner (banana), hugh jass (lit. huge+ass, referring to an enormous salad). Homegirlese, some of which originated with Homegirl Can Eat, started by a then-highschool senior from San Francisco, and made up of particularly jubliant truncations, mutations, and elongations (“Yo bitties! Not much time to chitchat due to homework off the yingyang…” is a typical lead), appears in most of the more popular healthy-food blogs. The typical healthy-eating blog (HEB from here on out) tone is parts cutesy, crunk, sentimental, and intellectual. Below, more examples excerpted from the following blogs: Snackface (OH), Jess Likes it Hot (AZ), Eating Bender (AZ, though longtime Chicago transplant),The Broccoli Hut (AL), This Winding Road (MI), The Foodie Diaries (NY), Peanut Butter and Jenny (CT), Banana Cabana (SoCal), and Homegirl Can Eat (NorCal).

1) Homegirlese:
shweet, deets, love me some, yeow!, stylin’, momz, omg amazing, pops, temps, blasty, ’cause, I’m a hoe, beebz, helluva, roomie, blaaast, craaaaze, get on that stat, scoreee, jerz shore, arseee, coolio, offish, cam, phenom, you best believe, fav, buttload, lovemuffins, boyf, my girls, papa bender, muy indecision-friendly (and other spanglish), funemployed, Chewish, Kev Thug, schizo, ridic, margs, baby back baby back baby backkk, def feelin’, snugglin’, nail paintin’, loved it, obvs, sleaze it up, looove, ya dig?, shoo0, fam, mama, thangs, all ova, wata, whateva, flava, locaaa, fab, yo bitties!, off the yingyang, hAyyy!, WOOPWOOP, Saaasssssafrraaasssss!, homegirlz, chillin’, lez go, getting that shit, cross yo fingas, baller, bossy, mothafudging, marvy, dimey, tdf, adorbs, oh hai, forealz, I GOOD, supa, puh-leaaase, lookin’ busted, da best, who he was workin’ with, ay baybays, rollin’, hollaa!, hi pooks, love., what up, lookin’ fly, stunna shades, freakum dress, MamaJ, amaze, gittin’ it all night

2) Sentimental, olden-timey letter
lovelies, ta-ta, dearies, ciao for now, I have much to share with you, please pardon, Oh I’ve missed you so!!!, thank goodness, do share!

3) cutesy foodie
chocolicious, happy tummy, handy-dandy avocado slicer, whipped up, beautimous, okra action, tummy-lovin, hangry, broc, eats, wrap-innards, chocolate PB as a “boyfriend,” barney butt, starbies, hugh jass, foodiful, broccoli barricade, snackie, snackiness, peanut butter blob, snickety-snack, ch-ch-cheetahs, nom, gasm, THE NOG, bloggies, moo-free, bloobs, naner, protein powda, YUMYUMYUM, got our froyo on, reunited with my blender, lunch closed up shop,
pineapple and cottage cheese sandwiches are worthy of the death penalty ’cause this combo is sinful
So, who wore it better? (It being the sriracha, of course…)
End scene. Let’s get to Monday’s eats.
Mingled in the morning: bloobs and Barney Butter happy trail

4) literate, intellectual, formal
worthy of note, reminiscent, hence, irked, relish, grandiose, vehemently, hereby, formulaic, that said, nary a Kroger Peanut butter, in the spirit of, without further ado, exquisite, devour

Plus some regionalisms and retroisms:
my sweet tooth was a callin’ (also kind falls into cat. 3), spiffy, who’d a thunk, comin’, glorious, allo, oy, delicioso, chica, jeeze, howdy, folks, phew

Why though? What is it about healthy eaters that leads them to write this way? Discounting Brooke from HCE, whose voice, crazeeee though it is, sounds genuine (and who may have started out as something of a healthy-eating blogger but is now a college life blogger), I’m guessing (and only guessing) that this zany, spunky, playful, faux-rap star voice bubble wraps what could be disordered behavior, or at least a compulsive need to document and share with all everything you eat. That most healthy-food bloggers aren’t really like Brooke is to me evinced by their need to make foods characters, make them play, make them important, even if they’re a reiteration of the last twenty breakfasts/dinners/lunches. There’s the need to heap superlatives upon the fuji apple (amaze), the cottage cheese with pineapple and fake maple syrup (sinful). And there are more obvious hints–references to irritation or gloominess over botched meals, mentions of perfectionism, of past issues, of refusals to eat salads because the dressing is “gaggy” (and not on the side) or split-pea soup because it’s cooked with ham. Most of these bloggers are heavily-to-fully vegetarian; many of them are vegan or glucose-interolerant, and an increasing number of them are raw-foodists.
All of them are intelligent, well-educated, attractive, physically fit. They have relationships, friends, nights out dancing in dive bars. Family is extremely important to all of them, and all seem to view their parents as quirky, endearing, and slightly ridic, worthy of names like “Kev Thug,” MamaJ, and Pooky. They are like the average upper-middle class, college-educated girl, only they have managed to make something productive out of their insecurities and compulsions. Or maybe they don’t have insecurities or compulsions–I’m hardly in the position to say. What I can say, is the language is fun and funny, lively, engaging, original, fresh. It’s transformative language–baked sweet potato and tofu becomes “cheetahs and ‘fu,” yogurt (always greek) is combined with oatmeal and almond butter in “yoatgurt with barney butt”–and the transformation is totally addictive.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Crazeee Foodiful: The Language Of Healthy Eating Blogs”

  1. Rocco Blau Says:

    Thank you for the awesome article. I will follow you via RSS.

  2. healthy eating college | HEALTHY EATING Says:

    […] Crazeee Foodiful: The Language Of Healthy Eating Blogs « The Cooks … Tags: diet, Europe, food, healthy food choices, Japan, japanese dishes Published by admin on Feb 23, 2010 under 1 | Post your comment now Find out more: here. « healthy eating choices healthy eating clipart » […]

  3. Dallas Pietz Says:

    i love your blog always read it could you post more health infos

  4. Allen Wright Says:

    This is very interesting. I think I might give it a try.

  5. Tina Says:

    Loved the blog, loved the lingo, loved the attitude! Nice picture of jars with staple foods you put in your pantry. I store food this way too. Check out my jar collection at http://www.simplifymyfoodchoices.com/healthyideas/about-2/
    I will be back to read more of your blog. Thanks again! Tina

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: