Breakfast/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

Give Me A Date!


Alls well that ends well! Last night at school we were making ice cream base (!!) and just using the yolks. I asked my chef since we were just using the yolks are throwing away the whites, if I could maybe keep the whites and take them home with me. She said that was fine so I gathered my entire table’s egg whites (12 whites) and sealed them up to take home with me…. so I could make my oatmeal pancake this morning after all!

I also found a new obsession last night in school. DATES! I can’t believe I’ve never tried a date before! Jack and I made a fruit crisp with apples, dates and goat cheese and I must have eaten a handful of these sweet little guys. So sweet, chewy and delicious! We had extras so I took them home as well. 😉

This morning I woke up, ate my typical half a banana with almond butter, and set forth to the gym determined for a good upper body workout. I increased the weights that I typically use for a more intense workout. I think my body has gotten used to everything in my normal routine so I want to switch it up a little.

This morning I did:

2 sets of full on push-ups- 12 reps each set

2 sets chest press—20 lbs (I have always just chest pressed my body weight and never before actually added weight) 

2 sets of 21s with 10 lb weight

2 sets seated row with 50 lbs (I usually do 40 lbs)

2 sets overhead tricep extensions with 25 lbs

2 sets “lift-ups” (don’t know what they should be called)—I stand with my arms at my side, holding 2 weights and lift my arms to chest height then drop down. This is to work a tiny muscle in your shoulders and I use a very light 5 lb weight in each hand.

2 sets of 15 reps of backwards arm extensions hold 15 lb weight

And I warmed up on the treadmill for a couple minutes at the beginning of my workout. All this took about 30 minutes and then I was back, making breakfast in my apartment.

Happy to make my oatmeal pancake with my newly found egg whites! I used 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 tsp baking powder, pinch of sea salt and 2 chopped dates (!!!) in the batter and then when it was done, I topped it with a spoonful of almond butter and half a mashed banana with cinnamon. With Red Rose tea.


For lunch today I made an easy turkey sandwich. Yesterday at the store, I picked up 1/4th pound of Boar’s Head turkey from the Publix deli and today I used 2.5 slices along with a light laughing cow cheese, spinach, dijon and jalepino slices to make a yummy sandwich on Rudi’s whole wheat bread. I also packed a huge peach and a yogurt and some cherries for a snack later….and 2 dates for dessert 🙂




Here’s a question: What is your favorite arm exercise at the gym that you feel like you get the most out of it? 

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  • Katie S
    July 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Ok, that’s what I’m currently trying to figure out for myself! Jenna and anyone else… I’m trying to work on my strengthening routines and just finding some that work for me… but I have no idea where to start! Does anyone have any suggestions?? Where do you get your ideas?

  • amber
    July 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I sometimes cook my oatmeal with a chopped up date! It sweetens the batch enough that I don’t need to add honey or agave nectar at all. Just be aware, dates are very high in sugar! They are definitely not low-glycemic and should be eaten with some fat or protein to balance.

  • VeggieGirl
    July 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    YOU’VE NEVER TRIED A DATE BEFORE?!?!??! Where have you been?!?!?! Haha :0D But that better not be a dried pitted date, my friend – you NEED, NEED, NEED to try the fresh, luscious, caramel-like, medjool dates.

    My favorite arm exercises are rows and hammer curls.

  • Sarah C
    July 22, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    assisted pull ups and dips

    reverse fly delt machine

    bicep curls with pulses

    half way and hold pushups

    laying down with over head tricep dips

    weighted punches with squat

    jumping rope (arms and cardio!)

  • Jess
    July 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    bicep curls and hammer curls make the biggest difference for me!!

  • Erin
    July 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I second VeggieGirl–I can’t believe you’ve never had a date! They’re SO good!
    Try Larabars if you haven’t; dates are the key ingredient!

  • adria
    July 22, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Oh, I love dates! I also have been introduced to them only recently. I first tried them about a year ago at vacation bible school while i was leading a group of kids. The theme was galilee (sp?) by the sea (during jesus’s ministry). One day they had dates for a snack. I can see why they call them nature’s candy- they are sooo sweet and delicious!

  • Sarah (future FL girl)
    July 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    My most painful arm exercise is definitely push ups on a Bosu, flipped upside down (dome side down)–it has little “handles” that you put your hands on and then I do 15 “man push ups.” Then I flip the Bosu over (dome side up) where I do an active recovery of 15 dumbbell flys, while I do a glute-working bridge on my back on the Bosu, followed by 15 more pushups.

  • V
    July 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    DEFINITELY assisted pull-ups … they kill me! Holding plank, too … works your arms + core!

    My absolute favorite date dessert is a big medjool date, pitted, with a dab of almond butter in the middle—divine!!

  • claire
    July 22, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Am I the only one who doens’t like dates?!!? I think that they are too sweet!

  • Rose
    July 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Bicep curls for sure, but I think that part of my arm is particularly strong (I think from playing softball for so long). I do tricep dips and have seen some results but not as quickly or as noticeable as bicep curls.

  • ~C~
    July 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I have never had a date. Well, the food kind 🙂 I’ll have to see if I can find some.

  • Allison
    July 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Close grip push-ups. When you keep your arms right under your shoulders and your elbows close to your body when you do the push-up. It really works your shoulders and tricepts.

  • Erin
    July 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I love doing lateral raises (“lift ups”) combined with overhead presses. So I’ll do 12 raises with 8-10 pounds, then immediately switch to presses and do another 12 raises. It burns!

  • Amy
    July 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Lifting a 3 year old and a 16 month old. Repeat 50 times a day (at least) everyday. They just get bigger and heavier, thus upping your workout routine on a daily basis! =)

  • Emily
    July 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    i like to have my back on a stability ball, (butt’s in the air, not on floor)so i use my core, and then do chest work with weights. you hold the weights at your shoulders palms facing your feet, lift them up to the ceiling and just before your arms are extended, twist the weights so that the ends touch, untwist, and lower. hope that makes sense? i have good chest muscles now, all though i don’t look like a man, and i’m the only girl in my gym class who can do the benchpress with the guys. sweet.

  • Sally
    July 22, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for posting your workout routine – it always helps to get inspiration for new exercises!

    How do you do chest presses with just your body weight?

    I think my favorite arm exercise is bent over rows but I also like combination biceps curl-overhead presses.

  • rachel
    July 22, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    hey ladies. I purchased a video a few months ago…I think it´s called ¨Shape Bikini Body Boot Camp¨Sounds really silly, I know. I bought i because I have a difficult time going through the moves without guidance. Anyway, it was a fabulous investment! It has a strength session, a cardio session, and a ¨book camp¨session. The cardio session isn´t that good, in my opinion, but I really enjoy strenght and bootcamp for a quick 30 min workout. I feel so much more toned and much stronger after doing the video for a couple of months. I like it because it´s fast paced and distracting…I really dislike using the weight room at the gym, so this is excellent for me.

    A year ago I could only do 3 pushups! Now I can do more than 20 in a row.

  • rachel
    July 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    ps. Dates are AMAZING. i love them too, Jenna. they are such a good dessert to…they really curb my desire for refined sweets and are only 120 cal or so for 5.

  • Ashley
    July 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    What is the arm exercise 21 that you refer to in this morning’s workout?


  • Samia
    July 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Long time stalker, first time poster! Love the blog!
    Dates are yummy! I’ve not had any in quite a while. I’ll put them on the grocery list!
    I’m a little confused about your chest press. I know a chest press as lying on your back on a bench with weights in each hand. The motion is to press the weights up over your chest until your arms are straight, then lower. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t press 120 lbs! Do you mean chest dips on a dip/lat pull machine?
    I know your “lift ups” as front shoulder raises or lateral shoulder raises, depending on if your raise out in front of you or to the sides.
    I love triceps dips, 21’s, chest flys and lat flys, shoulder presses are great, too.
    I get good workout ideas from and Some of the exercises they have on there are ridiculous though! I couldn’t do them in a million years, but it’s fun to try!

  • mel
    July 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I have to say good ole fashion push ups (not girlie ones). I try to do ten then rest then ten more then rest and maybe a few more until I can’t do anymore! my arms shake and you can do them anywhere!! I haven’t had a date either..they remind me of prunes..yuck! haha! Have a great day jenna and everyone else! question: what do you all think of egg beaters and egg beater egg whites?

  • Fitnessista
    July 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    hey katie s.-
    if you’d like some help with a workout, there’s a sample circuit routine on my blog –
    it has step-by-step pics and i’m going to be changing the workout every 2 weeks. i’d love it if you checked it out!

    my fave arm exercises are leaning lateral raises (“lift ups”)- you grab onto the back of an incline bench and lean away while raising the weight to shoulder height. it works your shoulders extremely well!

    hope everyone has a good day!

  • mel
    July 22, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    p/s/ for anyone who loves healthy, moist banana bread I have the greatest recipie in the world! I mixed two recipies together and can’t get enough of them!!

    Healthy, high fiber banana bread (or muffins):

    2 1/4 cup ww flour
    2/3 cup skim milk
    2 tbsp veggie oil (I used 1/2 cup natural applesauce instead)
    1/2 plain non-fat yogurt (I only had vanilla with worked great!!)
    1 cup high fiber cereal (fiber one)
    3 really ripe bananas mashed
    1 cup sugar
    2/3 cup egg whites or egg beaters
    1 1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 1/4 tsp baking soda
    cinnamon and or nutmeg
    1 tsp salt (optional)
    2/3 c chopped nuts (optional)

    for bread bake about 50 mins on 350 or for muffins (which is what I make) bake for about 10-15 mins on 400! enjoy!

  • mel
    July 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    *it makes about 2 loaves and about 16 muffins (depending on size)

  • Mandee
    July 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I really like using my body weight vs using free weights but I mix it up and do both. However I get the best results from the body resistance only ones. Push ups, tricep dip, reverse plank/side plank/and plank are all my favorites.

  • Julz
    July 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    For me, it’s planks and Chaturanga Dandasanas! They are fabbbulous. Regular Yoga Practice has done so much for my arms! (It does even more for my overall well being, but my arms, shoulders, back, core, etc are ALWAYS engaged even after my practice ends!)

    Have a wonderful Day!! (Boar’s Head Turkey… When I get a craving (yes, odd craving…) for some deli turkey, Boar’s Head is often my vice 🙂 Unless I’m wanting REAL turkey slices, and then it’s the Jewish Delicatessen 😉

  • girlatastartup
    July 22, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Definitely the yoga moves, chaturangas, and also I do reverse push ups, lower, and then push back up. Do 2 sets of 20 reps and you’ll really feel the burn.


  • arielle
    July 22, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I like using the big medicine ball (the heaviest one my gym has…I actually have no idea how much it weighs) to do squats and then lift it over my head to work my triceps…I also do lots of other things with this ball, like lifting it across my body and over my shoulders, and I always feel like it’s a great workout.

    I hope that makes sense. It’s so hard to write this stuff out!

  • ModelBehavior
    July 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    The specific work out list was really really helpful Jenna, thanks!

  • Trina
    July 22, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    You might wanna try a modified Pilates push-up for a great arm exercise! You do push-ups on your knees, but as you go up, you swing your elbows outward and back in to form sort of a circle. This works a lot of different muscles in your arms.

    Also, I LOVE dates and I have a very yummy simple snack to make with them that I thought I should share with you!

    Get some goat cheese and sprinkle with dried basil. Cut open the date, and stuff with the goat cheese. Wrap proscuitto around the date, stick a toothpick in it, and place under broiler for a few minutes just until browned and a tad crispy. These are delicious and make a great appetizer!

  • Betsy
    July 22, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    chatarangas. lots. and lots.

  • Chef Erin
    July 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I used to take a boxing class at a gym, which I loved! If you have access to a punching bag and gloves, it’s a great arm exercise- you feel it in your biceps, triceps, shoulders not to mention your abs and upper back. You get sore in places you didn’t know you had muscles!

  • claire
    July 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I have just really gotten into dates as well!

    Arm workout wise…I love almost all tricep workouts, I blame that on my ex bf’s great ones. Now I mostly do chair dips, tri extensions, and these cable pushdowns:

    and Katie S: this may help with some basics

  • Laura
    July 22, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I eat turkey sandwiches everyday and thought you’d like to try the turkey from Whole Foods if hadn’t had it already: Applegate Farms Herb Roasted turkey

  • runjess
    July 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    I like the lat pulldown and the lat row. At my gym these exercises are combined on one machine, so I do two alternating sets of each. I like it because it works the sexy back muscles as well as arms.

    On the subject of weights, I asked a question on my blog the other day about maintaining/getting stronger but not adding more bulky muscle. I would love any input on this topic. Here’s the post:

  • Jayne
    July 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    hey jenna,

    one of my favorite quick apps is dates with goat cheese. just slice a slit down the center of the date and stuff in a 1/2 tsp or so of goat cheese. (sometimes i add in an almond too). pop in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes or so… mmmmmm….

  • Lauren
    July 22, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I really like using the ‘captain’s chair’ for ab work. I definitely feel like I’ve given my abs and effective workout after I use that piece of equipment. Other than that, I like doing lat pulldowns, tricep/bicep extensions, rowing…

    I have to admit that I have always preferred cardio to weight training – even at the gym. So, my favorite workout at the gym is running on the treadmill (though I MUCH prefer running outside). I love Pilates and yoga, but don’t really enjoy practicing either of those at a gym. I like doing them on my own, or in a studio.

  • Emily
    July 22, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    pilates does it for me. I have tried weights and i just get too bulky looking even with little 5 pounders. I also do those arm circle things 100 foward, 100 backward in small circles then repeat with large circles…i do this every day seems to work.

  • tfh
    July 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    As dried fruit goes, I like figs about 1,000,000 x more than dates. Something about all those little seeds…

  • Andrea
    July 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    My go-to arm exercise is similar to Emily’s – just a normal bench press with dumbbells on a stability ball instead of a bench to work out the core too. I started off with 15 lb dumbbells each arm and now I’m up to 22.5 lb each. It’s also good to superset them with 10 pushups. It gets my triceps, shoulders, and chest. Big biceps can look funny on women, so I only do them every other workout.

  • Hallie
    July 22, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    At work, a coworker brought in a huge container of dates. She ate them, I ate them, and one guy on my floor would come by and grab handlfuls (ah, boy metabolism!). Everyone else would see them and go, EWW.

    So Claire you’re not the only one who dislikes dates. But that meant more for me! I don’t let myself buy dates or figs because I have no self control.

  • Chandra (Eating to Live)
    July 22, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    welcome to the magical world of dates!! 😀 You should try these ways of eating them:

    ~ With a nut sandwiched in them! Pecans are really good.
    ~ Topped with nut butter!
    ~ In a sandwich!

    I love discovering new yummy foods!

    I really like what I think is called the “side lateral raise.” Like you take some dumbbells (I use 3 lbs., because I have yet to build up my upper body strength! dont laugh) and raise them out in front of you, then out to the sides, and then drop them down. It really works your shoulders!

  • nicole r.
    July 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    i hate working my arms haha i carry all my knots and tension in my shoulders so its so killer for me
    -anything in yoga: all those arm balances and chaturangas killlllll my arms
    -all the tricep work that you do while hinged at the hips bc these work your lats and shoulders too:
    1) arms straight, raise weights as high as you can (above your hips at the lowest point…higher if you can) with the head of the weight (and your thumbs) facing down, then press in and lift up making an L shape…do 15-20 reps
    2) arms straight, arms high behind you, thumbs point in toward your body, do little tiny punches, just bend stretching
    3) start w/ arms straight & high behind you thumbs point down move the weight in to your shoulders and then return arm to straight
    -these shoulder things where you hold your arms out in a T shape even with your shoulders, turn your hands so your thumbs point down and the weight is basically held vertically…then do tiny tiny pulses up & down, trying to make the line w/ your shoulders be the lowest point. THESE ARE KILLER!! do them with super light weights and make them be the last thing you do

  • Bluesquash
    July 22, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Dates are def one of my favorite foods! I have a really good oat date cookie recipe! My mom used to life in Cali and she says that there’s a date festival each year and they serve everything you could ever imagine using dates, such as date shakes, cookies, pies, and anything else. Yum! 🙂 And I agree with Veggie Girl — fresh dates are SO flippin good.

  • Tina
    July 22, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I love dates!!! 🙂

  • Little Black Dress
    July 22, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Mmm I love dates too. I don’t go to a gym, but carry all of my groceries several times a week- when you eat as many fruits and vegetables as I do, carrying 25 lbs of food uphill for half an hour really makes your arms sore! I also work with rare books, so sometimes I am the only one at my job strong enough to lift a fifty pound folio!

  • jenna
    July 22, 2008 at 8:28 pm


    Basically, they are bicep curls. You go all the way down and up for 7 reps, half up for 7 and half down for another 7 = 21 reps! GREAT for building strong arms!!

  • Heather
    July 22, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Oh wow- goat cheese in a fruit crisp? Yummmm.

    My favorite arm exercise is just boring old tricep dips… they really work (when I actually DO them)

  • alicia
    July 23, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Oh man, medjool dates with aged parmesan or any cheese. Delicious and it will send you straight to heaven. 🙂

    For arm work, it’s push-ups, chaturangas, dips and shoulder exercises.