Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

A Vegetable Bounty!

I hope everyone that had a chance to, watched Oprah this afternoon. There were a couple times when I reached for the remote to turn it off, just because I didn’t think I could watch anymore (read: snot all over Ryan’s blanket and me sobbing my eyeballs out). I kept watching, however, and have to say it was one of the most powerful Oprah episodes that I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a ton. I am embarrassed to tell you that I used to want one of those “new puppies” that probably would have come from a puppy mill. Through this episode and learning more about the industry in general, I now know that I could never ever EVER do that. When I graduate school one of the first things I plan to do is adopt a dog….preferably a pug and from the pug rescue here! I can’t wait….you can ask Ryan, who won’t go to the humane society with me anymore (last summer I think I went and visited the dogs there every other day and would drag Ryan along sometimes and these trips never ended without me crying and Ryan dragging me out). I just can’t wait until I can have my very own and know that I gave it a great home 🙂

During my Oprah sob-fest, I snacked on a slice of almond butter toast with raspberry preserves. I had a more fulfilling snack this afternoon because I was about to work out after Oprah, and Ryan and I didn’t have dinner reservations until 8:15. I needed something that would give me power and keep me going for the rest of the afternoon! It did the trick of course.


Here was my workout:

5 minutes warming up on the stairmaster

chin ups with jumping jacks~~alternate each set of chin ups (I do 15 reps) with 1 minute of non-stop jumping jacks. Do the sequence twice to get two sets each of chin ups and jumping jacks.

walking lunges with overhead weights~~4 sets of 15 lunges. Using a 10 pound weight (or lighter to start), lunge down and lift the weight over your head. Bring the weight back down when you release the lunge. Repeat for the entire sequence

chest press~~2 sets of 15 reps

Triceps on a bench~~using a workout bench, position yourself so you are grasping the edge of the bench with your arms behind you and your legs straight out (like you are resting back on your palms). Lower your body down using your arm strength and release back up. 2 sets of 15 reps.

leg lifts~~ using a 12-15 pound weight, hold the weight in your hands and bend down, lifting one leg to parallel behind you, keeping your back straight the entire time. Do 15 reps on each leg, twice.

abs~~various crunches and stuff for last five minutes.

Concludes a 30 minute “circuit” workout routine. I follow this a couple times a week, changing up the routine and using different machines but always getting in my lunges and crunches. I don’t rest too much between machines/exercises because I like to keep my heart rate up. You could enhance this by ending with running sprints on the treadmill, which I do sometimes (sometimes. haha).

Let me know if you all benefit from “exercise tips” i.e. my exercise routine on the blog. I don’t think I will be able to post my exercise routine every single day (we all know how insane my schedule in Orlando is right now!) but feedback from yall would be beneficial.

Dinner at Flemings was great.  We actually ran into Ryan’s aunt and uncle there and sat with them. I ordered a glass of excellent petit syrah to start while we waited in the bar for our table. To start, I ordered an AMAZING salad….seriously, the best salad I have had a restaurant in a long long time. It was a portobello/red onion/spinach salad and I ordered it sans goat cheese and pancetta. I think the dressing was what made it. It was fantastic. I ate every drop. Then, for dinner I ordered the infamous “vegetable platter” (requested no butter). I am truly impressed! On my plate was spaghetti squash, parsnip (which was my favorite!), asparagus, mushrooms, bok choy and tomatoes. I also ordered the chili glazed sugar snap peas for us all to share. I am addicted to these sugar snap peas. They are sooooo yummy and addicting. I ate about half the bowl! They also served a fantastic loaf of hot sourdough bread and I had about a slice and a half. 🙂  I also had about a glass and a half of wine.




I thought I was full but then we got home and I found…………………


……the last cupcake!

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  • Natalie
    April 5, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Very cute picture Jenna. I know I wuokd have had that cupcake to without a doubt 🙂

  • Danielle
    April 5, 2008 at 3:49 am

    Hahaha yum, looks like dinner had a scrumptious beginning, middle, and end! I seriously am making the carrot cupcakes next weekend, can’t wait!

    I just wanted to make an announcement… I’m becoming a pescatarian! I figured I’d share because my friends didn’t seem to share my excitement with my decision :). I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I think this is the best for me because I don’t know that I could cut fish out of my diet (it’s one of my favorite things to eat) but I definitely want to shift to a more vegetarian-like lifestyle for a countless number of reasons. Thanks Jenna for your inspiration, you gave me the final push! I just ordered a free vegetarian starter kit from, I hope it comes soon!

  • Megan
    April 5, 2008 at 3:53 am

    I love that picture!! I like hearing about your work out routines as well, keep up the great work on the blog!!

  • Jill
    April 5, 2008 at 4:17 am

    YUM! I’ve never been to Fleming’s as it’s a ‘steak house’ and all (and I don’t eat red meet) but that veggie plate looks amazing – but not as amazing as your cupcake! Good choice on the dog thing! I have always gotten rescue dogs, it’s the best idea in the world. I wish I could say the same about my cats… but the majority of the cats we’ve had were ones which we got by chance – they showed up at our house I begged to keep them!

    Btw, may I add you to a blog list on my blog? I love your page!

  • Brynn
    April 5, 2008 at 4:19 am

    I’m so glad you mentioned the Oprah show on your lunch post. Those puppy mills are horrifying! I was bawling through the whole show, especially the sequence on euthanasia. It really makes me want to adopt a dog from a shelter and encourage my friends to do the same. I knew that overpopulation of dogs and cats was a problem but I had no idea how bad it really is.

  • Bluesquash
    April 5, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Speaking of Oprah! Have you seen the episode with the children’s choir from Uganda whose parents have all passed away from AIDS?? Because I just saw them in person!! They were AMAZZZING! 🙂 Just thought I’d share! Lol

  • happy herbivore
    April 5, 2008 at 4:46 am

    beautiful dinner & nice workout routine!

  • Ally
    April 5, 2008 at 4:48 am

    Jenna, I just want to say sorry for my rude comments earlier. Have a nice weekend with Ryan + family.

    Bad Ally

  • Meghan
    April 5, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Hey Jenna!

    It’s been awhile since I commented, but I’ve definitely been doing my reading! You and I are quite alike in the sense that I can go out for an incredibly satisfying dinner, but still have more than enough room in my stomach left for another treat! Lets hope this early 20’s metabolism doesn’t come to a crawl anytime soon, haha. All this talk about these carrot cake cupcakes sounds SO intriguing, but I love love love my carrot cake with pineapple, so do you think I could add some pineapple tid-bits in?

    I’ve also been dying to make some healthy, gooey, yummy, doughy cinnamon rolls. Now I know that healthy and cinnamon rolls don’t exactly go in the same sentence unless it’s “cinnamon rolls are definitely not healthy”, but I just can’t help but dream. Anyways, to get to my point, do you know of any recipes? Thanks a ton! Sounds like your spring break has been incredible so far!

  • Andrea
    April 5, 2008 at 6:33 am

    i LOVE that you included your fitness routine!!! Great idea!! it definitely enhances the blog 🙂 even if you included times for your runs (roughly) this could help many of us too.

  • Alice (in Veganland)
    April 5, 2008 at 7:24 am

    I can’t give any useful feedback on your fitness routine, but I love reading about it because it keeps me motivated about my own sport routine! So keep it up!
    And what a lovely dinner! (I would’ve eaten the cupcake too)

  • Kath
    April 5, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I WANT that vegetable plate with the squash and asparagus!! Looks so good! You’re so cute with your cupcakes 🙂

  • TimeofButterflies
    April 5, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Hi Jenna,

    Are you planning on adopting the dog while you still live in an apartment? The reason I ask is because I currently live in a third-story apartment, and have been for a few years. I don’t plan on purchasing a house for another couple of years, but I really want a dog. I have a cat and she’s been badgering me for a playmate 🙂 No, really, I have no idea what to do at this point. I feel it’s unfair, in a sense, to keep a dog in an apartment, but more unfair to keep a dog in a shelter.

    As far as the workout routine: it’s refreshing to see someone not killing herself. I think the leg lifts are called deadlifts, as well? One of my favorites. If any of your readers are interested in learning about weight lifting, an EXCELLENT resource is “New Rules of Lifting for Women”:

    I also found this resource especially helpful in regards to nutrition whenever I began to ramp up my workout routine (“Sports Nutrition”):

  • Kristin
    April 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    You are too cute =)
    I made those cupcakes last night and went to HEAVEN- you were totally right they are soooo good! I probably ate about a cup of frosting by licking the spoon, the bowls, my fingers, haha… but it’s all vegan, pretty damn healthy and all deeeelicious!
    Thanks for a review that made my Friday night!!
    Tonight is super charge me cookie night… I can’t wait!

  • Betsy
    April 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    that veggie platter looks sooo good. it’s great when restaurants like that actually realize that not everyone likes a big nasty chunk of meat to eat!!

    i love that pic of you-it looks like ryan caught you in the act!!

  • Betsy
    April 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    oh-and i sooo wanted to see that oprah episode but had to work very late. i probably would have been crying my eyes out too though.

  • Sonya
    April 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Jenna —

    Just discovered your blog – it’s amazing! I bought the VCTOTW book over the Christmas holidays – it’s very cute.

    Your dinner looks amazing – what a wonderful display of veggies.

    The exercise stuff is really useful to know – especially when I’m looking to change things up at the gym.


  • jenny
    April 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    does anybody know what a doctor that treats amonorrhea is called?

  • ibex hk
    April 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    yum, I want your parsnips 🙂 Glad it was a fun dinner, the veggie platter looks delish, glad it was a fun “date night”! Love the cute cupcake picture, I’ve got plans to get baking these soon! Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Susan
    April 5, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Your routine was great to see since I am in the process of learning about working out:) How did you learn all those exercises and which ones to pair together? I know you had one personal training session, but obviously that’s not enough to learn a whole circuit routine. Regular personal training is out of the budget for me right now, so I’d love to hear how you learned.

    Also, when you do your chin ups and then jumping jacks, at least at my gym, someone would probably be waiting near the machine, and probably be annoyed if I did that, do you ever have that problem?

    Although with chin ups, I would be lucky if I could get one! Have a good day!

  • jenna
    April 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm


    I’ve worked with personal trainers on and off for the past 4 years….I actually debated becoming one but decided to go with the nutrition aspect of it instead. I never have people waiting at my gym because my gym IS my apartment. No one really inhabits the old apartment gym…especially at the odd times that I go.

  • Romina
    April 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I was crying so much watching Oprah. I hope she opens peoples eyes to what goes on and what were ignoring.

    Yum!! Your veggie filled dinner looks fantastic. =)

  • VeggieGirl
    April 5, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Hooray! I’m glad that you were able to enjoy a wonderful meal at Fleming’s :0)

  • Brynn
    April 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Jenny- When I had amenorrhea, I was just referred to a gynecologist.

  • Caroline
    April 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    You should definitely adopt a pug! My sister and her husband have two, and they LOVE them. Be forewarned, however, that they have a lot of health problems, mostly respiratory and ear-related. They are such sweet and loyal dogs though–I totally love baby-sitting them!

  • Caroline
    April 5, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    PS: Is that top you’re wearing from Anthropologie?? I have the same one!

  • sweet basil
    April 5, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    cute top for sure.

    fyi all — infamous means having a bad reputation, it’s not a good thing.
    i used to use the word incorrectly all of the time! it’s an easy mistake to make.

    i am in the process of making vegan blackberry cobbler tonight–i’ll let you know how it is.

  • jenna
    April 5, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    CLEARLY I should not have graduated with honors with my English degree 😉 hahahahah! Sorry! I always just type so fast—I guess I should slow down and spell check/re-read what I have written!

  • Julz
    April 6, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Jenna, your veggie platter looks SO good and takes me right back to Flemings. Sorry about suggesting the oysters and fish, as I thought I read that you still were considering eating some fish. I didn’t mean to sound ignorant, as I know and totally respect your decision to go all veg! It’s fabulous and I wish I could… Again, as prev stated, my family would be on my case. Anyways, I adore your blog, really appreciating your openness and honesty! And I would love to know if you have suggestions for mine! You probably don’t read it, but if you could ever take a look, I look up to you a lot! Thanks so much!

  • jenna
    April 6, 2008 at 2:36 am


    I checked out your site and think its great! Love your overall theme and outlook on life in general. I’m so with you on that one 🙂 I still do eat some seafood…..but I haven’t in a while. I guess I’m still making my mind up on that one so I haven’t “announced” anything yet (ryan would be heartbroken if I stopped eating fish that he caught). Thanks for your kind words!