A Guide to Healthy Eating and Healthy Cooking for Beginners PDF

For my New Media publishing project I created two books entitled: A Guide to Healthy Eating and Healthy Cooking for Beginners. These books were created using content and tasks in Oxygen and then made into DITA maps and finally published into PDF files and WebHelp.

Here are the links to both PDF files:




Virtual Learning Environments

Many schools are now offering classes online in Virtual Learning Environments, otherwise known as VLE’s. VLE’s are a prime example of all that New Media has to offer as well as how far technology has come. They allow a student the flexibility to learn on their own schedule as well as the freedom to learn wherever they travel to as long as internet connection is available.

For some, navigating these VLE’s can seem intimidating. This screen cast walks you through using a specific and common VLE platform known as Canvas. I hope that it shows how easy it is to use VLE’s once you are familiarized with them.

All Hail Pinterest!

Here is a short tutorial that I made demonstrating how to use Pinterest to compile recipes from across the internet. I love Pinterest! It allows me to take a vast amount of information and organize it into “boards” so I can easily find what I am looking for at a later date. I hope that this tutorial is helpful as a brief overview into pinning.

Healthy Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

I know, I know, “healthy cookie” seems like an oxymoron but just trust me that these cookies are as good for your taste buds as they are for your body. What makes them so beneficial? A few key ingredient swaps.

I originally found this recipe in “Giada’s Feel Good Food” by Giada de Laurentiis. The recipe she gave was already incredibly healthier than most cookies we eat so I just tweaked it a little bit to make it even healthier. The first major change I made was to replace the all-purpose flour with whole grain spelt flour. Next, I used coconut palm sugar in place of the white sugar. These cookies are chewy, spicy, not too sweet, and just plain GOOD.

The Low Down on Spelt

Spelt is an ancient grain related to wheat which has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The whole grain is ground to make a flour that is the polar opposite of white flour. All-purpose white flour is devoid of nutrients. It has been so processed and refined that it is nothing but empty calories. By contrast, spelt flour offers protein, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals.

Coconut Palm Sugar: A Sweeter Alternative

Similar to white flour, white sugar is incredibly refined and has had all of its nutrients removed. Recently, scientists have proven that white sugar is as addictive as cocaine! If that isn’t reason enough to look for an alternative then I don’t know what is. Luckily, there are many sugar alternatives on the market to choose from. Coconut palm sugar is made from the flowers on a coconut palm tree. It is low on the glycemic index and has a good amount of fiber which means that it won’t cause blood sugar to spike. It also provides minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

Now for the best part: making the cookies!



  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins

The Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


2.  In a small bowl mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, and coconut palm sugar.


3.  In a large bowl mix the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, agave syrup, and vanilla extract.


4.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and combine. The dough will be sticky.


5.  Fold in the raisins.


6.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.


7.  Roll the dough into balls and place on the sheets. I made my dough balls roughly two tablespoons each. The cookies will not spread much so they can be placed close together as shown.


8.  Bake cookies for 16 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are no longer sticky.

9.  Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Enjoy the cookies warm!


If you would like to try out more recipes that use spelt flour check out the Banana Bread  and Pumpkin Bread from My New Roots. The pumpkin bread is incredible drizzled with some honey!

Why are we so addicted to technology?

I witnessed the most abysmal scene yesterday: three people were sitting at a table in Olive Garden and out of the roughly 30 minutes I was there I saw them interact with each other for a total of 10 minutes; the rest of the time each person was instead looking at their phone.

Technology is mind-blowing at this point and new media is continuing to blossom. At what point, though, do we acknowledge that perhaps it is getting out of hand? The interaction between human and technology is taking the place of the interaction between human and human.

Let’s look at Facebook. I do not deny that Facebook is a new media masterpiece which allows people across the globe to stay connected. Users can post status updates to inform their friends and family what is going on in their life, share pictures and videos, and communicate with others. Facebook is an absolute godsend for the best friends that are separated by an ocean or the grandparents that want to watch their grandchild grow up even though they are 10,000 miles away.

The problem lies in the three people at Olive Garden. Technology and all forms of new media should be strictly supplemental. Our interaction with technology should enhance our interactions with those around us, not replace them.


The purpose of this blog is to serve as a portfolio demonstrating my understanding of new media. In the article “New Media from Borges to HTML” Manovich describes new media as “anything that requires computers for the final project”. (Manovich p. 17) Some examples of this would be a computer game or website.  New media is an interaction between technology and a user through images, words, and sounds. All things related to the internet, such as this blog, are perfect examples of new media.

Much new media is incredibly complex. Take for example, a software program. When a user first beings to use a new software program it can be daunting trying to figure out. Luckily, there are usually instructions on how to utilize the software program efficiently. These instructions are something that a technical communicator would write. New media is also closely linked to technical communication because it is a platform to reach an infinite number of people and therefore should aim to be user-friendly.

The goal of a technical communicator is to have a reader gain some knowledge from the writing they compose. Therefore, the goal of this blog is to leave you, the readers, with some gained knowledge on the topic of new media.