Lunch

What Defines You?

Hello!

Hope your Thursday is going well. I just got home from work and I’m about to head to the Sonoma County Fair. I’ve never been a huge fair person (I despise roller coasters with every cell in my body), but the worship band from church is putting on a big concert there tonight so I’m meeting some friends for that. And maybe a sliver of fried dough. There’s no way to know.

This morning I had a big pancake topped with almond butter, yogurt and maple syrup for a brunch before work:

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It did it’s job of holding me over for about five hours and when I got home I saw that I had a fun package from Opera Girl waiting for me!

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She was sweet enough to send me a taste of her double coconut granola. And let me tell you, this stuff is dangerous. I just had to dig in right away.

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Her granola is better than my granola. Must be the coconut!!
***

I just gave in my two week notice to Kendall-Jackson.

Sad, I know, because I Kendall-Jackson has been such a huge part of my life for the past year (Almanzo works for the company as well), but since I now can classify myself as a real live writer I need to better focus my professional efforts on this blog, the book and my future books. It’s taken awhile and the road hasn’t always been easy, but I feel like I can finally stand on my own two feet as a writer and mold my career in that way. I know I only worked there three times a week, but I need every hour of those extra three days to finish these edits. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. I promise you that.

What makes one a writer, anyways? We used to debate this in my writing workshops when I was an undergrad. Does seeing your name in print make you a writer? Does writing short stories in your spare time? I think I started to officially call myself a writer after I got my book deal last year. Since I was about seven years old, I’ve always dreamt of becoming an author and my dreams are finally coming true! I can’t even imagine the day when I can walk into Barnes and Noble and see it on the shelf. I’ve always thought that THAT day would be the best day of my life. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

Thinking about that question though made me think of an even bigger question and that is what defines you? For me, it’s definitely my faith, my family and those I love, my morals and values, and my passion for writing, cooking and traveling. What about you?

More than anything, I just feel so incredibly blessed and excited to be doing something that I love so much full time. I have big plans for this blog in the upcoming days so stay tuned!

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101 Comments

  • Reply
    Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    July 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Jenna this just spoke to my heart. I have a hard time believing I’m a writer because I have nothing in writing (like a diploma, degree or certification) saying I am one like the other things I do. It is a constant struggle for me.

    Congrats to you for making the decision and taking the leap of faith. What defines me most if my family and faith. It has been strong and solid for years.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    July 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I’m not sure if it was your pancake or the granola that had me tummy rumbling, but I loved the photos and the question that you posed about ‘what defines you’. Here’s my two cents – I feel like my physical well-being and the happiness that I get from eating healthy and staying fit is a good part of what defines me. It keeps me focused and I love the energy that I have from adopting a health lifestyle. With that being said – I’m only human and I’d be a liar if I didn’t mention that I have food cravings just like everyone else (hence the pancake and granola). If I’m going to eat I try to work in choices that coincide with my workout. I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes for others to enjoy: http://www.adavvy.com/article/show/energy-boosting-recipe

  • Reply
    Laine
    July 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Congratulations!!! You writer, you!!!

  • Reply
    Leanne
    July 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    My family, my marriage, my friends, my passion for cooking and my values define me.

    It is so exciting that you’ll be doing exactly what you’ve always wanted to be doing and reading about it gives me hope that someday I’ll be doing the same. Thanks for being so open and sharing your journey.

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    July 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Oh my God – I’m so happy for you that you are living your dreams. I know jealously creeps in – but you know what? Who am I to be jealous? Your doing it. Your making it happen. Sitting back and not writing about it and whining and sulking and the “I wishes” and “Your so lucky’s”…it’s just pathetic really. Really, really pathetic.

    Another person’s “luck” is actually THEIR life and THEIR hard work – I just have to continue working and paying my bills and trying to do what I can – it doesn’t happen like magic. I lost all and any of the little money I saved up and have maxed credit cards and $120,000 in debt.

    So what am I going to have to do about it?

    Work. Suck it up and work and ass off – again. And do what I can while I work TOWARDS something better and happier in my life.

    I don’t understand why people complain about what they don’t have or don’t want when they should take that energy and just work on doing what they can do – it’s different and not easy for anyone.

    And noone has the right to make you feel (me) feel wrong for striving to do what you (I) want in life and working for it.

    No explanations needed.

    Wow, that was long-winded!

    …and uh, meanwhile, if you want to send over your Agent’s contact info…um, please do so ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hey, change takes time!!

    • Reply
      eatmovelove
      July 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      …and that me talking to me here – hah ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    July 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Oh my God – I’m so happy for you that you are living your dreams. I know jealously creeps in – but you know what? Who am I to be jealous? Your doing it. Your making it happen. Sitting back and not writing about it and whining and sulking and the “I wishes” and “Your so lucky’s”…it’s just pathetic really. Really, really pathetic.

    Another person’s “luck” is actually THEIR life and THEIR hard work – I just have to continue working and paying my bills and trying to do what I can – it doesn’t happen like magic. I lost all and any of the little money I saved up and have maxed credit cards and $120,000 in debt.

    So what am I going to have to do about it?

    Work. Suck it up and work and ass off – again. And do what I can while I work TOWARDS something better and happier in my life.

    I don’t understand why people complain about what they don’t have or don’t want when they should take that energy and just work on doing what they can do – it’s different and not easy for anyone.

    And noone has the right to make you feel (me) feel wrong for striving to do what you (I) want in life and working for it.

    No explanations needed.

    Wow, that was long-winded!

    …and uh, meanwhile, if you want to send over your Agent’s contact info…um, please do so ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hey, change takes time!!

  • Reply
    Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine
    July 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Ooh, big plans! That sounds exciting.

    What defines me are my beliefs and passions (too many to list) and all of the people I love in my life. Everything together just makes me feel whole. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    July 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Oh sorry…hit send twice…blah. in a cheesecake coma.

  • Reply
    Sara @ myfancytuna.blogspot.com
    July 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    That’s great, Jenna! I don’t think I can really define myself yet…I think I’m still in the process of “discovering myself.” Haha, so cliche. I’m still trying to abandon my obsessive perfectionist habits and become more spontaneous.

    I have something to think about..thanks!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Rawtumn
    July 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    This post really hits home for me. So happy for you with this new chapter of your life forming! I honestly feel so undefined right now. =/ I never really thought about it like that until you put it into those words. It’s not a good feeling but I know one day soon I’ll have my answers, it’s really just something I’m struggling with the past few weeks, especially because this is my last year of undergrad and I’m still uncertain of where to go from here. I’m looking forward to the upcoming evolution of your blog though! =)

  • Reply
    Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    my dad is a writer and English professor, and watching him work as well as developing my own passion for writing has really been one of the biggest joys in my life. i dream of writing one day as a career! i can’t wait to watch you start focusing your own career on fully writing rather than working part-time elsewhere!

    as for what defines me, it’s all about God. I am nothing without Him…and it’s comforting to know that my strength comes from the one who created the entire universe ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    July 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Good for you. It’s always nice to see someone follow there dreams. Good luck with your book and can’t wait to see it on the shelf.

  • Reply
    Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    July 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    oooh congratulations on taking this step to dedicate more time to your book!!! It is all very exciting indeed!

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    July 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    In my head there’s a difference between writer an author. I consider authors those who have published a book. Which is you. And that’s so cool.

    What most defines me is my faith, my family, and my writing. And maybe one day I’ll move from nonfiction articles to a novel, which is my dream. And then I won’t just be a journalist–I’ll be an author.

  • Reply
    Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    July 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Ahh – congratulations…one door closes and 5..10…15…more open! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Congratulations on finally being able to dedicate more time to doing what you love. I’ve been thinking a lot about what defines me lately, and I’ve come up with things like by friends, family, and my passion for cooking, health, and fitness.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Healthy Heddleston
    July 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve heard you mention your book deal a few times Jenna.. but I’ve been curious as to what it is about (maybe I missed that post or maybe you’re not discussing it yet?) Just curious! Keep on writing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      jenna
      July 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      the book is about my time in culinary school with recipes! It’s pretty much a memoir from the last three years.

  • Reply
    Angharad
    July 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    What a lovely post. Hurray that you get to work full time on writing! What defines me is my closest loved ones and who I am to and for them, my passion for travel, live music and amazing food, and my belief in the work I do (non profit arts org).

  • Reply
    Trish
    July 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I’m a writer. And I don’t think I considered myself one until I was actually published – I had to see my name in print. Then it was real and I felt like I could claim the title as all my own.

    Of course, calling yourself a writer it trick. Sometimes, it seems everybody and their uncle thinks they are a writer. I find it a bit insulting actually – I mean, I work hard and it’s taken me time to get to where I am. People throw that word around like it’s nothing. Do you put on a band-aid and call yourself a doctor?

    But anyways, enough of my bitterness. HA! Good luck!

    • Reply
      eatmovelove
      July 29, 2010 at 8:13 pm

      ….so what about all those people that work hard and write and write and try to make a living off of it – but aren’t at publishing yet…they’re not “real” writers?….so an artist isn’t a real artist unless his paintings are in museums?…a singer isn’t really a singer unless he or she gets a record deal…?
      I do agree that people throw words around and it’s not “fair”…
      but there are others that work hard to pursue their dreams but may not get there as quick, or at all, as others too… Don’t just judge.

      • Reply
        Stephanie
        July 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

        I think you may be taking this a little personal. I can see where both of you are coming from.
        But I think what this person here is saying is that you have something concrete to point to. An artist can put on shows and be considered an artist, and some writers may never get their book published but do freelance for magazines, or maybe they blog. Singers may tell people they are singers when they have a CD. Not that I agree 100% with those examples, but Im just poking my head around and trying to clarify for someone else ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Reply
          eatmovelove
          July 30, 2010 at 4:09 am

          Oh no I agree – of course – those that write full-time and struggle to get published and finally do – they are WRITERS! I agree. I just think writing is also in a bit of a different realm being that it is creative and a form of expression…

  • Reply
    Courtney (Delightful Devours)
    July 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I agree, what a great post. Congratulations on deciding to write full time!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    July 29, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    So excited to see you moving forward with things and staking your claim as a true writer- I think it’s absolutely wonderful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    The Wife of a Dairyman
    July 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I will be hitting that fair next Tuesday for an event we were invited to. I’m not a big fair person either but I’m sure my kids will love it.
    Wow, what defines me? Definitely my family and morals, living a healthy lifestyle and being passionate about being an advocate for the dairy industry. I believe the public really wants and needs to know how their food is grown and produced and how it gets from farm to table.

  • Reply
    The Wife of a Dairyman
    July 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Oh, and I forgot to say congratulations on giving notice to KJ and dedicating yourself full time to your passion!

  • Reply
    Paige @Running Around Normal
    July 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Aww I can’t wait until your book comes out either! I’ve always been a writer. My name was in print when I wrote my first young authors book in 4th grade! (LOL) But seriously, what defines me? That’s a big question. Like you, obviously those I love, but I think also it’s my passion for…life. I’m a big believer that a little hard work and passion can get you the moon.

  • Reply
    Tina
    July 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I think I define myself by all those things you listed. Faith = #1, family = right up there with faith, and then my other passions, such as sharing love with others and supporting friends and loved ones. Also my passion for fitness and being an example of balanced living that doesn’t deprive yourself.

    I can’t wait to see your book at Barnes and Nobles either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    July 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    You’re always surprising us on ELR — your life is so fun/adventurous. I live vicariously through you.

    I’m excited/curious for what you have planned on the blog front. That’s great that you are giving your writing career your all, and you’re able to support yourself (?) doing just that.

    I was curious what Alamanzo did ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    WOw, what a great question!!! I’m totally caught off guard but I am going to really think about this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Brynne
    July 29, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Jenna, I absolutely cannot wait to read your book. I have a feeling it will be one of those that I go back to again and again for laughs, comfort, and general awesomeness. Congratulations on achieving your dreams!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    July 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Congratulations on taking the jump! I can’t event tell you how excited I am for you.

  • Reply
    marie
    July 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Stephen King said in his memoir that people always come up to him at cocktail parties and say, you know, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. But the truth is, a writer is anyone who writes.

    Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing, you just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

    Most of us don’t have a choice.

    On your many milestones – cheers!

  • Reply
    Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore)
    July 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    ahhh, this is so exciting. i can’t imagine what’s to come on eatliverun. congrats on being a full time writer!!

  • Reply
    polly
    July 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Honey, remember when I said, “Jenna, maybe you should just STOP blogging” Well, that was a dumb idea. ๐Ÿ˜€ Big sisters do not know everything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I am so proud of you. I love that you LOVE with your whole being. I love that you can just be you in the midst of the crazy of life. I love that. Tell Adam that he got a keeper, but I am sure he knew that. Almonzo knows half pint.

    Ya know, at age 38 I am still defining. REFINING is more like it. I think the Lord Jesus keeps this girl on the taffy pull machine so that I can be stretched every single day. Do I still worry about silly things like my body, my food, my ability to make others happy… but I guess that makes me human. What defines me is just being Polly with who ever I am with. Never changing from just myself. When I am FREE in my heart and my mind, that is when I feel most alive and me. Able to hug others without hesitation, love my hubby even when he is a turd and gets home late or forgets things I have told him a zillion times or just is HUMAN, too. ๐Ÿ˜€ I am defined by loving the Lord with all the doubts and trust issues that go along with FAITH. We just gotta trust HIM. I love that. I am defined by the ability to love life, heal, and be a mom. Not a perfect mom, but a mom with a heart as big as my big head. (my dad has a big head too, I guess I am destined to have a found face and a large size ball cap) hehe.

    I am defined by being a child of God who is doing my best.

    Love you! Your book will have a spot on my shelf someday, my sweet friend. XOXO Pol

    • Reply
      jenna
      July 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      awww love you, big sis!!

      • Reply
        Mom
        July 30, 2010 at 5:29 am

        Polly ~ We have never met ~ but I would love to know you, and am so happy that you are in our daughter’s life!

        • Reply
          polly
          July 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

          awww, Jenna’s Momma, I want to meet you too! We WILL someday, I promise. ๐Ÿ˜€ XOXO I am glad to have Jenna in my life. She is love, realness, JOY, and spunk all in one. The best combo. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    elaine!
    July 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Aristotle says, “You are what you repeatedly do.” So if you write, you’re a writer. If you run, then you’re a runner.

    The last half of that quote is even better: “Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

    I wouldn’t define myself too strongly, though. Feels too much like pigeon-holing.

  • Reply
    polly
    July 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I guess I am also defined by not being able to TYPE all that great. Sorry for the gobs of TYPOS on that post response! hehehe ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    July 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Congrats on taking this big step! It’s so great that you’re doing something you love and living out your dreams. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What defines me is a tough question! I’m not sure I have it entirely figured out yet, but I know it includes the people in my life, my love for the outdoors, learning, and my passion for healthy living.

  • Reply
    Erin
    July 29, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Wow, this post really speaks what I feel. Thank you. I’m also a writer, although I work for an Internet company, but I feel incredibly blessed that I get paid a great salary to do what I love — blog about politics and a healthy dose of celebrity gossip. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think that life is too short to not LOVE what you do. I know that there are bills to be paid, kids to be cared for, etc. but I want to feel fulfilled with my life. My faith, my family and, yes, my job make me happy every single day.

    Life is too short to be miserable.

  • Reply
    Christena
    July 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    So happy for you! I love the blog and can’t wait to read your book.
    As for what defines me…first and foremost, my relationship with Christ! Then my relationship with my husband, family, and friends. Then of course my career, hobbies, etc.

  • Reply
    Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    July 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    My love of theater and helping people play a big role in defining me, as do the people (family and friends) that I surround myself with.

    Congrats to you for following your passions full throttle. It takes guts to do that, and guts are something you seem to have in spades. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very much looking forward to seeing what you’re going to do with the blog!

  • Reply
    theemptynutjar
    July 29, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    What defines me?
    Knowing I am an honest person. Knowing I can be content with myself and not let others tear me down (no matter how hard they try and how oblivious they are to it).
    Others often talk about feeling like they are being “belittled”….when really they create the drama and the problems in their head.
    I have been hurtfully mistreated and betrayed by friends even very recently…and I think it has really helped me to ultimately realize that confidence and HONESTY are the best and most respectable traits ever. Integrity and dignity. And not being self-absorbed and oblivious to others or the world. Selfishness is not admirable at all.
    And so I work hard every day to not be those “other” things that I really ill-admire.

  • Reply
    Shannon, Tropical Treats
    July 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    keep it up!! you sure do have a knack for writing.. which of course is obvious;)

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    July 29, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Jenna,

    do you ever feel sometimes like your in a bit of a “Reality Show”…y’know what I mean? The fact that you blog about yourself, your personal life, where you work, date, what you eat, do….do you ever feel like you’d like to be “normal” (Hah! you know what I mean!! ) – normal as in just living and not telling everyone what your doing or your thoughts??
    …or maybe that’s what really makes you a writer? Interesting to address in a post perhaps?? Or email me!!

    Also – do you plan to continue to write about your life and experiences…about food and cooking?? Or would you ever write fiction, etc???

  • Reply
    Lori Lynn
    July 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I have a dream of becoming a writer as well. I published a book of poetry, but it was with a free publishing company, and haven’t done anything with it for about 2 years. Next time I might have to pay to get it seen by a publishing company, so they could help with promotion. ๐Ÿ™‚ My faith defines me as a person, and is something that I constantly strive for. Kudos to you!

  • Reply
    MMiller
    July 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Another tough question! My family and my God for sure, but what else? I worked hard most of my life in banking and worked my way up into back office management. And I was good at my job…really good. Then I up and moved to Florida and had to start over! I had no degree or diploma proving that I was good! I always felt at that point that I really didn’t know who I was! I just needed a paycheck! I am a good person and a good mother first and foremost! But I seem to define myself now as a cancer survivor! A THREE TIME CANCER SURVIVOR! It really changes your life! I am a very different person than I was 6 years ago! And I still don’t know who I am!

    • Reply
      Suzanne de Cornelia
      July 29, 2010 at 7:23 pm

      Start with BRAVE!!!! Seriously!!! JFK said that courage was the highest virtue that lead to all others. You’re brave–the world’s your oyster.

  • Reply
    Maria (realfitmama)
    July 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I used to be defined by my friends, my job, my weight, pretty much anything that was external.

    These days (and for the past 9 years) I have been defined by one thing and then two…my daughters. I am defined everyday by them and what they do and how they act and how they live and the kind of person they are. Granted they are only 2 and 9, but I define myself daily by the kind of kids (and in the future grown ups) they are.

    I take great pride and passion in teaching them, raising them, loving them and sharing the world with them. Seeing things through their eyes is what defines me…forever.

  • Reply
    kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com
    July 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    sounds like you are in the best place right now. youve found ur solid ground and ur confident to feel secure in your writing and future!

    yoga makes me feel like that even tho i never would have imagened it to be the case. The idea of being able to teach my passion as a means to live is inspiring and exciting!

    granola is the best when its ‘dangerous’ isnt it!

    xoxo

  • Reply
    Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    So powerful to have hands-on wine industry experience to add to your expertise–and then to stake your claim as a 24/7 writer/author/blogger! Bravo!!

    What I think defines a person is their essence. Everything outside of us can disappear. Expressing what we are at our inner core reconciles the inner and outer worlds, and increases our eternal soul.

    If expressing your essence (and not the external situation) then even stepping-stone situations have value.

    What defines, enriches, and brings me pleasure, new awareness, and peace–is my creativity, including my co-creativity with the Creator.

  • Reply
    Laura (Starloz)
    July 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    oh boy, granola is heaven in yogurt.

    Its a huge step forward for you.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I can’t wait for your book…. good for you Jenna!

  • Reply
    Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    July 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I’m so excited for your book!!!

    I will have a pancake tomorrow because of this post ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maria @ Oh Healthy Day
    July 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Very excited for you and your future pursuits! I can’t wait to see what you are doing with the blog!
    I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately as I just finished my degree in Counseling and being promoted at my job which oddly enough, has nothing to do with counseling. I’ve been through some soul searching and realized that my 9-5 doesn’t define me. Doing the things that I love defines me. My interests, my friends, my family, my morals and values. Those are who I am and my job is simply a means to an end.

  • Reply
    Marie
    July 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    This is exciting Jenna, good for you! Although if I were you, I’d miss the view from your “office” at KJ… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Annie@stronghealthyfit
    July 29, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Great post, Jenna. I really am so happy for you that you are getting published and your dreams are coming true! For me, I would say I am defined by being a caring and compassionate person, honest, and a hard-worker. I hope I am defined by being a good friend, wife, sister, daughter, neice, granddaughter, etc.

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 29, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Congrats on taking the leap of faith! That’s so awesome that you’ll be doing what you absolutely love full time.

    What defines me…hmmm…I would say my morals and values, my desire to keep improving myself and my life (not that it’s bad in any way, shape or form, but I believe that there’s always more), and my compassion for others.

  • Reply
    Rebekah @rebeltarian
    July 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    My family and friends without a doubt. I am who I am because of them!

  • Reply
    Cynthia (It All Changes)
    July 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Congrats Jenna! Going after your dreams is huge.

    For me my faith and family define who I am. Everything I do comes out of those two things. My passion is found in both and I love both dearly.

  • Reply
    Megan
    July 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I’m glad there is another person out there that hates roller coasters with all their might. I am terrified of them.

  • Reply
    Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)
    July 29, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Congrats! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s so important to listen to our hearts and follow our dreams. Without trying, we never know what could have been.

    I find myself hard to define as I have so many quirks. I am passionate about so many things, yet always open to new thoughts and ideas. I love challenges, cooking, learning, music, and being with my loved ones–of both human and furry persuasion. I believe in individual freedom and integrity. I feel that I am not only defined by what I have done, but by what I aspire to do and be.

    Jenn

  • Reply
    Katherine
    July 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I’m not totally sure what defines me yet. I think it changes every year. Right now I think its my relationships with my best friends, my passion for race studies and social justice, faith, food and wellness.

  • Reply
    amber's notebook
    July 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Congratulations Jenna!! I think we all aspire for that day that our childhood dreams come true!! Thanks for inspiring! xoxo

  • Reply
    Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    July 29, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Jenna, I love this!! I truly believe that the only way to live is to do what we love 100% of the time. Life is too short for anything else. Getting to the place where you can do that takes lots of hard work and dedication, so congratulations you deserve it!!!!!

    What defines me? My love for my friends and family, my desire to always help others better their lives and of course my passion for the earth, food, cooking, health and happiness.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    July 29, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    This is something I’ve been talking about lately. Not so much what defines me, but what I find my identity in (kind of similar). I had a job for a while, and while I didn’t want to identify myself WITH that job.. I was a working person. Once I lost my job I found my identity in making people happy with my cooking. Now that funds are even more low, I am having trouble finding my place again. But, I just got accepted into grad school and start in 6 weeks, so my new identity will be Grad Student.. and then hopefully therapist/play therapist/assessor.
    Aside from that, I agree that I find my identity in Christ.. as His child and I try to serve him by serving others – though I often fail.

  • Reply
    Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
    July 30, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Woo! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the granola! I do think the double coconut makes it irresistible — that and a good dose of salt to punch things up.

    As for what defines me? I think it’s a lifelong quest to express and experience things that are true and beautiful, whether that is through music, cooking, interacting with nature, loving and caring for others . . . sounds a little hippy dippy I guess, but there ya go!

  • Reply
    Emmanuelle
    July 30, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Congratulations for making your dream come true Jenna, I can’t wait to read what’s coming next!

    What defines me? I think I’ll be able to point it out on my death bed. Until then, I am a work in progress, and I’m enjoying the journey ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    July 30, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I think in the west we spend too much time defining ourselves by our roles rather than who we truly are which is why your list is such a breath of fresh air.

    Me? The things that define me are my faith, my family, yoga and writing (I guess I’m lucky I get to make something of a living out of at least one of these!)

    Oh and I despise rollercoasters too….

  • Reply
    Karen
    July 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

    What a terrific, profound dialogue Jenna! Many of these responses moved me to tears!

  • Reply
    RhodeyGirl
    July 30, 2010 at 4:20 am

    You are a beautiful woman.

    I am so proud of you for reflecting on yourself and your life- often- and changing what you need to change to make your life better.

  • Reply
    Christie {Honoring Health}
    July 30, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Congratulations, Jenna. You are always an inspiration.

    I agree with another commenter about not defining myself with words because it pigeon holes me. Who knows what I may feel tomorrow. For now, I am changing the lives of women by helping them heal their relationship with food and that is the most rewarding work I could ask for.

    I do hope to one day be a published author, traveling around the world showing women that there is a better way than counting calories and hating their bodies. But in the mean time, I just do what I do and do my best.

  • Reply
    Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    July 30, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Wow! Congratulations! That’s a huge step. I know you’re gonna be fine though just because you’re such a talented girl and SUCH a trooper. I can’t wait to hear about more developments!

  • Reply
    Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    July 30, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Girl, you have a huge follower of readers and I can agree with you when you call yourself a writer. I’m so happy that you’re taking the plunge and dedicating yourself to what you really, truly love. That’s so inspirational. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    Shutupandrun
    July 30, 2010 at 5:22 am

    It’s a good question. I’ll have to think on that one today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    July 30, 2010 at 5:32 am

    I am so excited that you are reaching your dreams Jenna. You are a true example that anyone can reach their dreams with hard work, passion and a lot of heart! Congrats!

  • Reply
    Kristy
    July 30, 2010 at 5:50 am

    It is incredibly inspiring to watch people create the life that their dreams are filled with! To be honest – determining what we are defined by requires a high level of maturity in my opinion. Growing up its easy to say what we “like” or “support” but announcing what truly compiles who we are isnt something one can discover overnight, maybe why I cant answer at this moment…. Hmmm Thinking subject for today…

    • Reply
      Carrie
      July 30, 2010 at 7:40 am

      Well said!

  • Reply
    Barbara(Blood, Sweat and Heels)
    July 30, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Exciting…you go through lots of changes but they all seem to lead to bigger and better things:)

  • Reply
    Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes
    July 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Great thought provoking post. I’ve wondered similar things myself, especially as I contemplate a new career.

    Maria

  • Reply
    Camille
    July 30, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Congrats on moving forward. Sometimes we have to give up stuff we love because it has simply run its course.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    July 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I just finished a wonderful book called “A Life Worth Breathing,” written by Max Strom. It is a yoga book, but mostly it is about applying the principles of yoga to your life, to add meaning and purpose. My sister got it for me as I was going through a really terrible break-up, and honestly it couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. What defines me, and all that I have, is what is in my heart. So I am defined by love for others, love for myself, and love for life in general. All that you can carry for all of your life is who you are inside, and that is what defines you.

  • Reply
    Michelle from The Cooking Life
    July 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Hello! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and have been doing so more regularly. I think what you post on here is great, as it’s been an inspiration to me to eat healthier and live a better lifestyle. But your post this morning was quite something else. I am a fellow Christ-follower and I have to say, though I struggle many many times, Christ is who defines me. Sounds like a pat answer but it’s what I truly believe. Time and again I’ve allowed people, accomplishments, work, hobbies, etc to define me – to the detriment of who I am. I refuse to live that way anymore.

    Anyways, like others said on here, congratulations as you move forward in your career! And keep up the great work on this blog, because trust me, it helps a lot of us out.

  • Reply
    meagan
    July 30, 2010 at 7:28 am

    congrats for taking this step, jenna! it’s a big one and i’m sure will be filled with much reward.

  • Reply
    Anna
    July 30, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Exciting times!
    From Iceland and I havenยดt tried Siggiยดs Skyr – that has to change obviously. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Laughter-Loving Stacy
    July 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I’m defined by my love. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Louise
    July 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Congratulations, Jenna! My husband aspires to quit his counseling job and be a full-time writer. Hopefully, someday he will get there, too. I am defined by my sense of humor, my sense of fairness, my work ethic and my giddiness at all things nerdy.

  • Reply
    LadyLara
    July 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

    What defines me? That is a tough one. I would say I take a lot of identity from my job in advertising, but I know that is dangerous. So beyond that, I will say my positive spirit and sense of adventure. =)

  • Reply
    CarrieBeth
    July 30, 2010 at 8:17 am

    that is so exciting, a real writer!!!
    i would say what defines me is being able to care for people, especially my fiance. it thrills my soul to cook him meals, iron his work shirts, run errands for him. i can’t wait to be married to him! (just 3 months away!) my family and faith also define me. without those, i would be lost indeed.
    i thoroughly enjoy your blog, thank you for writing!

  • Reply
    R @ learningasichop.wordpress.com
    July 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I think anyone who writes is a writer, just as anyone who creates is an artist. It’s how you feel inside. Looking for outside feedback to define you can get dangerous. Maybe the boundary can be writer vs professional writer – something from which you earn money. But that’s another story… That being said, congratulations on taking the next step! How exciting!!!

  • Reply
    Kailey (SnackFace)
    July 30, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Oh how tough this question truly is! I don’t like to think that any collection of words “defines” me, as I feel that it changes on a daily basis. Words that will always remain, though: writer because it’s something I can’t go a day without doing and it’s how I best communicate; singer because I do it when I’m happy, sad, elated, bored, I do it subconsciously; family gal because I truly need my family to survive; lover because I can’t help but feel that every day… That’s all for now!

    For the words that define us, I don’t think there needs to be “proof,” as in a published work or an album or what-have-you. I believe it’s what you feel in your heart every day that defines you.

  • Reply
    Amber K
    July 30, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Personally, I have always thought that simply writing something makes you a writer. In the same way that dusting off an old pair of sneakers and running makes you a runner.

    I have never believed that you need to be published to get to call yourself a writer, in the same way that you don’t have to win a marathon to call yourself a runner.

    But I still think it is amazing that you are working on a book and I can’t wait to see it at my local bookstore! I have already pre-ordered Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful book and I can’t wait for the day it willl arrive in my mailbox. =)

  • Reply
    Michelle
    July 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Congrats ELR! You are amazing. Your life seems to be so full of adventure and fun but yet you are so down to earth.

  • Reply
    Erin D.
    August 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Jenna, Congratulations. What a great step! You continue to be an inspiration to me, an aspiring writer! I look forward to reading your blog daily–it brings me joy. Thank you for writing! I look forward to your book and your plans for to grow the blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Carrie
    August 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I’ve written two “books” now. The past two Novembers, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and written a 50,000 word novel in 30 days in my “spare time” after work, on weekends, in the car, etc. I’m sure you can do it, and I’m sure it will be better than mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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