Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

What A Sunday!

Wow, what a day!

Tampa, work, gym, Orlando. I feel like I have my foot in two different cities right now! As you know, this morning I drove back here to go to work at 10:00. When I got here I went to Starbucks for my caffeine hit (tall coffee with splenda and half & half) and went to work. I packed a rather boring lunch but its all I could find in my parent’s kitchen last night that didn’t need to be kept cold because I didn’t have my ice packs. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple….sometimes I measure out my peanut butter to be 1 tbsp and sometimes I just eyeball. This was one of those “eyeball” it moments. I think it was about a tbsp though. To be honest, I’m rather sick of measuring out everything! Sometimes I get in these kicks where I like to be exact in what I eat to just “know”—–but really, who cares? If you are off, you are probably only off by a calorie or two (if you have been doing it awhile) and that really won’t make or break your waistline AT ALL! Measuring to me is a tad restrictive and I encourage everyone to try a day without it and see how you feel. I feel better already! I think this idea really hit home when I was reading the new Shape magazine and in the beginning “Editor’s Note”, Valerie Latona, the Editor in Chief, wrote:

“The other day, my 3-year-old so resolutely pushed away his half-finished dinner plate and said, ‘I’m full.’ What a novel concept, I thought. How many of us continue to stuff ourselves when a dish just tastes too good to resit—losing tack of that childhood black-and-white sensibility we all used to have—-or mindlessly munch on snacks when we’re stressed, tired, or emotionally spent?….Fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and other healthy foods are here to fuel our bodies so we can get through the day, run that extra mile, and lift those extra weights. But, somewhere along the way, food has taken on another identity: that of a villain that contributes to weight gain and must be controlled at all costs. By getting back to basics, all of would be a lot slimmer, healthier and happier.” WELL SAID VALERIE!

I’m just like you guys. I don’t want to gain weight…I worry about if my jeans are sometimes too tight on my butt and how my arms look in the mirror. Sometimes I wonder why in the world did I have to eat that extra cookie—I didn’t need it! But….I feel like measuring out every single thing exactly can also become a vicious cycle that won’t improve the situation. I feel (and this is a personal feeling, you don’t have to agree with me or anything I’m blabbing about right now but this is a blog after all!) that it only restricts us more and leads to more negative and anxious feelings! I felt such relief today eating my sandwich knowing its just a peanut butter sandwich….healthy fats combined with whole grains to sustain my body. I didn’t need to smooth out my peanut butter in a plastic tablespoon to get that result. And I know what some of you may think—“yeah, well she has never had a weight problem before; she doesn’t understand!” Well guys, I DO understand! I understand what its like feel like if I just lost five more pounds I would live a happier life. But, thank God, it doesn’t work that way and some way, some how, I finally broke myself out of that negative thinking and evolved into a much more positive, happy way of life (yoga!!)!

Okay…I’m getting off my soapbox now. I hope that didn’t inspire any negative comments to come around. I just like to tell you all how I feel! The calories on my meal can never be completely exact to the fraction of a number…they are just general estimates and should be treated as such. Just so you know!

ANYWAYS! ๐Ÿ™‚

Later on at work I tried a new bar that I found at the store (always looking for fun new things!): A Quaker Simple Harvest granola bar. I was skeptical just looking at this, thinking it would be filled with sugar and strange things, but surprisingly it wasn’t at all! I could easily pronounce all the ingredients, which included whole grains and nuts, and it didn’t contain a crazy amount of sugar either. About the same as a Kashi bar, I believe (7 grams). It was tasty but not very filling—I don’t really get filled up by any bar though so I wasn’t expecting it. It was good for the moment though! I also had a clementine, but about 2 hours after the bar.

After I got off work I went immediately to the gym to get a strength workout in. I did pushups, leaping squats on the bosu ball, crunches and various arm exercises for about 30 minutes (I never stay very long! haha!). When I got home I was STARVING! I made the quickest and healthiest dinner I knew how to: a regular college staple! Scrambled tofu with veggies over couscous. ๐Ÿ™‚ This isn’t really so much of a “recipe” as it is just dumping things in a skillet that you have on hand! Here’s what I did—and I didn’t measure anything—just eyeballed it all.

I heated up about 1 tsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet. I then sauteed a little chopped onion for a few minutes before adding a minced garlic clove, a large handful of mushrooms and another large handful of frozen sliced bell pepper strips. I let that all cook together for a few minutes (about 5 minutes) before crumbling in about 4 ounces (a block) of tofu. I added a dash of tumeric, some salt and PLENTY of hot sauce and stirred it all together. I served it over a bed of fluffy couscous (I did actually measure this in a measuring cup–1/4 cup dry couscous = 1 serving size). It was great…I like to add parmesan cheese to this but didn’t have any on hand so I went without. Still good though and perfect when you need dinner in a hurry (hey, it’s vegan too!).

I’m sure I’ll be back for dessert later…..

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About 445 calories

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160 calories

(clementine not pictured!~~total snack= 215 calories with it though)

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About 366 calories.

~~Oh, and I know a lot of you all also read my friend Kath’s blog as well. My little “measuring blab” has absolutely NOTHING to do with her blog and how she does things. She’s been getting a ton of unnecessary negativity lately on her comments and just reading people’s cruelty makes me so sad.ย  I highly respect Kath and think she does an amazing job and she will make a great RD. We keep in touch and I get tons of great ideas from her meals! I read her blog every day! There are many ways to do everything and no one has the “right” way….so I encourage you all to try different methods (calorie counting or not) and see what works for your body. Kath and I merely show two different ways of healthy eating without depriving ourselves.ย  There is no “right or wrong” because it is different for everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    February 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I liked your rant! For someone who has been dealing with an eating disorder for 3 1/2 years (and someone who is working one moving away from the measuring to eye-balling it) I found it refreshing to hear such encouragement and assurance! I always second-guess myself and am convinced that if I do not always get it exactly right that I will surely gain weight. Even though I know that is NOT true, your post reminded me that measuring everything all the time is not normal and that I am not the only one with those thoughts. I love the blog; keep it up! Oh, I get extremelllllyyyy jealous when I hear how nice the weather is down in FL; it makes me wish it were summer!

  • Reply
    Amy
    February 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Jenna, thanks for your inspiring post! The tofu mixture made me think of fried rice- just your version is much healthier!

    You have introduced me to a lot of different grains, I remember you saying quinoa (sp?) is a complete protein. Do you like the taste better of quinoa, couscous, or bulger- those seem to be the popular ones. I want to try one to start with (is one more satisfying or whole grainish?)

  • Reply
    linds
    February 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Well said, Jenna.

  • Reply
    Amy
    February 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    oh and I agree there is way too much negativity on Kath’s blog- it reminded me of Lord of the Flies (some of those comments were that mean!)

  • Reply
    Lizzy
    February 3, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….from someone who has been dealing with an eating disorder for 5 years…I agree with Alyssa! (stay strong and healthy girl) It is waaaaay to easy to get carried away with measuring and calories and doubting yourself and your own body. I think that measuring and counting…instead of listening to what our bodies want, or rather NEED, can lead us down a dangerous road. It is VERY easy to get too carried away with it…the line is fine!

    Thanks for being such a role model Jenna, please know that I really appreciate the time, dedication and love you put into your blog. I am hoping to go to culinary school when I am finished my degree and I too have always had the dream of writing cookbooks!! I’ll keep an eye out for yours one day!!

  • Reply
    Alice
    February 3, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you so much for your very warm, genuine, and refreshing comments today (or what you called ‘rants’, I think ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a reminder for me personally that we are all human, and that insecurities pester us at every corner, and that, in the end, we can overcome them all. I appreciate your honesty with yourself, and with us your readers, as well as your strength to have overcome many of the challenges (or afflictions, if I can call them that) of women today. I think we are silent way too much in our daily lives, in front of others as well as ourselves, and your words surely did ring true for me, as probably for other readers as well. The beauty of your food blog is, at least for me personally, ultimately your connection to the readers, your fearlessness in admitting that you also faced challenges in what comes to food or food behavior and that you understand what it feels like; you are not afraid to share, in such a touching, personal way, your life and your story with us, and to admit, loudly and openly, that you are “just like us”. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Kathie
    February 3, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I agree about the measuring. I do a food blog for the newspaper Internet site where I work. I am mid-50’s and trying to learn healthier ways to eat after dealing with an empty nest, a picky husband and a busy job. Doing the blog, based on the MyPyramid program, has really helped, not only because I don’t have to take the time to count calories, it helps to see what our bodies really need. I have a young RD helping me with advice and other “experts” I rely on for information, as well.
    But getting back to measuring…not only is it tedious, it is time consuming. I feel that revisiting those measurements on occasion will help to reinforce what we know to be correct serving sizes, but it doesn’t have to be done each and every time. There are no measuring cups or spoons available in restaurants, so we need to be able to visualize what is right for us when we go out.
    I am enjoying all of the food blogs I’ve been able to find since I started my own and hope the negative comments don’t affect anyone’s decision to keep going. You are helping more than those who disagree.

  • Reply
    Mango Slice
    February 4, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Well said Jenna! I too feel horrible for Kath ๐Ÿ™
    Quick Question: I made steel cut oats with banana and p&b it was’nt very filling for me I had breakfast around 7:30 and was hungry again by 9! I never feel satisfied with breakfast; does not matter if it’s oatmeal,cereal, yogurt “with friuts of course!”. I don’t have this problem with any other meals. Any suggestions to keep me from starving in the a.m ???

  • Reply
    Bev
    February 4, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Jenna you are so wise for your young age. You inspire alot of us and we will keep reading all your healthy tips. I too feel very sorry for Kath and her husband. I would like to see those unkind people to just keep there comments to there self. But it’s America and I guess they will continue. The blogs get so cluttered and I end up just moving on and not reading at all. Have a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Patricia
    February 4, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog! I read your blog and Kath’s blog every day and I get wonderful ideas from both of them.

    You’re doing a great job!!

    Have a wonderful week!

  • Reply
    Kaitlin
    February 4, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Jenna,
    Thanks for your thoughtful words. I really enjoy your blog and your healthy attitude although I have not commented before.
    I also had a question regarding running. I like the idea of alternating walking and running to increase endurance and mix up exercise. Do you run at a faster pace than you would if you were constantly at a running pace? And, during your half marathon, do you have a ballpark number for your mile pace (i.e., ten minute mile, etc.)? I’m trying to increase my running distance and your perspective is helpful. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    Mallory
    February 4, 2008 at 12:44 am

    I felt exactly the same way when I read that in Shape! It is so so true and what I am striving for at the moment. Doing what you do only helps me more everyday! Thanks Jenna!

  • Reply
    Leigh
    February 4, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Jenna,
    Long time reader, first time poster. I just wanted to add that I applaud your healthy, moderate and rational approach to food. I don’t think it’s normal or natural to count and measure every calorie, gram and ounce of everything you eat. Many times I feel like I don’t measure up if I don’t compulsively do this. You make me feel hopeful and inspired that I can maintain my weight loss and healthy living WITHOUT being obsessive. Thank you so much for th wonderful blog. You are definitely an inspiration for me. I’ve learned so much from your refreshing personality and attitude.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    February 4, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Mango Slice,

    One of my favorite breakfasts is a veggie/egg scramble. I heat up a handful of frozen stir-fry veggies then add an egg and 1 or 2 egg whites, scramble, then add salsa. Pile it all on a hearty piece of wheat toast and you have a filling breakfast full of protein and fiber.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    February 4, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Two words: Thank you!

    I find it so discouraging to see other people count and measure every morsel. I used to be like that but have come great lengths. I just started eating pb sandwiches so I’ve started by measureing 2 tbps just so I can see what it looks like but I told myself I would only do it a few times. Life to short to weigh food (especially fruits and vegetables). ๐Ÿ™‚

    On another note, what are your long term plans? When will you be done with school? Will you be moving back to Tampa?

  • Reply
    Aimee H.
    February 4, 2008 at 2:18 am

    I read that Self thing this week too.. your rant really was inspiring. I’ve been frustrated all weekend for some reason and even today when I was exercising I got so mad at myself for missing steps and not following a video correctly. I just quit in the middle because normally exercise makes me so happy and if it isn’t, then it’s time for a break today! Everything in life is about moderation and I love reading your blog and receiving that affirmation – many thanks for all you do.

  • Reply
    jenna
    February 4, 2008 at 2:24 am

    You all are so wonderful and encouraging. Thank you so much for all the positivity! Please refer to my new section:FAQ to see recent questions/answers! I think it will be easier and more practical to start answering questions I haven’t already answered there because you can just scroll down and see them all, plus you can search for exactly what you are looking for!!

  • Reply
    Kath
    February 4, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Jenna,

    Thanks for sharing the Shape editor’s thoughts – I read that too and totally agree with her. I wish we could all go back to the years when we were kids and weren’t yet affected by the socialization of food. And thanks for pointing out that we all have our ways of weight maintenance ๐Ÿ™‚ What’s so ironic about all the negativity on KERF is that I DON’T weigh/measure every morsel – they just think I do!?! I’m not sure how that all got assumed, and I don’t know how to defend myself without defending myself, you know? Your tofu looks wonderful too!

    K

  • Reply
    Matt (Kath's husband)
    February 4, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Mmmm I want that dinner (‘cept without onions cause I won’t get any smooches!)

    Nice post!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    February 4, 2008 at 3:54 am

    I too read that same excerpt in Shape and just thought, WOW. Jenna, you really are an inspiration and I think you lead a great example of a healthy life! What a great post, thank you for your time and effort!

  • Reply
    VTvegetarian
    February 4, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!!!!! Sometimes you just have to get it all out of your system-it feels GOOD to get on your soapbox and rant a little!!! well done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    kay
    February 4, 2008 at 3:58 am

    I agree with you completely! I too worry about the same things and it is nice that you are so open with us, your reades. We are all human and no one is perfect!! I used to measure everything and it became such a pain. I had a little calculator and just counted every calorie like an accountant… It is hard to stop but I am to the point that I eyeball most things and it is liberating. I am still working on it!!

    Has anyone read Intuitive Eating? I just finish it and thought it goes with what Jenna wrote today.

  • Reply
    Laura
    February 4, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Thank you for this post a million times over. I can’t begin to describe how much it rings true to me.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    February 4, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Jenna-
    You have no clue how much of an impact you have! I am so grateful to be able to look at your blog today and your rant just made me love it even more. I have had really unhealthy eating habits and you make me feel comfortable with food. I now know that its okay to have an off day just enjoy life and no what you can have a little of and what you can have alot of. Food is not the enemy! Thank you for bringing back my sanity- eating a cookie or something is not going to kill me or make me superfat! I cannot thank you enough. But thank you for bringing joy back to food in a healthy postive way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Lisa
    February 4, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Kay–I heard about that intuitive eating book. I have a friend who has read parts of it and said it was really good. When I can find the time I would really like to read it.

  • Reply
    kay
    February 4, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Lisa,

    http://www.intuitiveeating.com/ has some info about the book ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Adeline
    February 4, 2008 at 5:06 am

    Hey Jenna, great post! I’m a new reader and a big fan of your blog and of Kath’s (and the Eat Like Me blog). Thanks for the honesty. I don’t see it often in the real world and the virtual world… and it’s a breath of fresh air, and something which I think too many of us can really relate to.

  • Reply
    Leah
    February 4, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Hear, hear. I have made a lot progress with my disordered eating but some days are still really hard. What’s especially hard is wondering if I’ll ever be able to reclaim that joy and think normally about food. Hearing from all of you is so encouraging.

  • Reply
    ms.
    February 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    jenna ~ Regarding peanut butter, is there a specific kind you prefer? I used to eat almond butter but now I’ve switched to Smart Balance’s omega-3 fortified peanut butter. Any thoughts?

  • Reply
    mel
    February 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Hey ms.
    I asked Jenna this question about a month ago and she said she grounds her own pb at her whole foods grocery store (sometimes with a little honey added!) I wish I had the patience to do this but i buy natural pb instead- I really like the skippy natural bc you dont have to stir it and it is sooo creamy and good! hope that helps!!
    Mel

  • Reply
    Vegan Girl
    February 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Hey –
    I just found this blog – it is great! What is the address of Kath’s blog?

  • Reply
    Emily #2(haha)
    February 4, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I agree Jenna great point! Can you tell us more about how you moved away from that “my life would be better if I lost 5 pounds mentality?” I’m trying really hard to focus on being healthy and happy instead and I find the blog/forum very helpful and inspirational, but I’m having a hard time completely kicking the negative menatality(probably the edge if not an eating disorder). Maybe some of the other girls who have overcoming/are overcoming their disorders could give some helpful advice/tips? Thanks so much!

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