Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

How To Eat

I had veryΒ  much an “Eat, Live, Run moment” at Publix today.

No, no one that I know of at Publix reads my blog (??) but I had an in action moment where I got to practice what I preach, I suppose you could say.

Here’s what happened—

I decided to make my mom and I dinner tonight because she gets home from work exhausted around 7:30. So, I rode my bike over to Publix to pick up a few things and also grabbed my favorite Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint bar. At the register the girl goes, “YOU are buying a chocolate bar??! You’re so tiny!” I sort of laughed and then said, “Well I plan to make that chocolate bar last about two weeks.” She sort of looked at me before saying, “what?? You don’t just eat it all at once?” I said no. I like to savor it slowly and enjoy a small square after every meal instead of inhaling it in three minutes (which I assure you I could). She then said she could “never” do that because she just wouldn’t have the willpower.

The conversation ended then but it just made me think just how Americans really need to re-teach themselves to eat! We are constantly SO worried about calories, low fat, low carb, no sugar added…blah blah blah…..but if we could just stop looking at food as the enemy and start eating what we want in moderation and smaller portions, I really think we all would be just fine. Wine, chocolate, BREAD, sweets…….they all are meant to be enjoyed! You CAN enjoy these foods—-you just have to enjoy them in moderation (not every day!) and scale your portion size down. It’s all about balance, yall. Balance.

Anyways, to step down off my soap box here are my eats! πŸ™‚ When I got home from Publix I made a super smoothie


This was a combo of about a fourth of the container of blueberries, 1/2 cup 0% Fage, 5 pecan halves, a splash of soymilk and a squirt of agave. I knew I wanted something with a tad more protein in it because I was going to a yoga flow class until 7 tonight and needed fuel to get me through. This did the job perfectly πŸ™‚

My mom and I had dinner around 8:00 tonight. I made a delicious adaption of a Nigella Lawson recipe—Sunday Night Chicken Noodle—out of her lovely book, “How to Eat” (how appropriate?) ;). I LOVE Nigella. She just seems to real and down to earth and I read her cookbooks as if they were novels. I get so into them! She is a wonderful writer and has such a clear head when it comes to food. I can’t get enough. Here is my adaptation of the recipe:

Monday Night Noodle Bowls

Serves 4

6 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp tamari

2 big garlic cloves, smashed down with a knife

1/4th tsp hot chili flakes

1 lb boneless skinless chicken tender, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices

8 oz rice noodles

1 head bok choy

4 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp coconut oil + a few drops sesame oil

1. Combine the mirin, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for about an hour in the fridge.

2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water and add the bok choy during the final minute of the cooking process. Drain both bok choy and pasta and run cold water over. Set aside.

3. Simmer the stock and keep warm on the stove. Heat up a large wok or pan and add the oils.

4. Add the chicken to the hot pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until done. Pour over the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden.

5. Place rice noodles and bok choy in each bowl and cover with chicken. Pour about a cup of simmering stock to top. Serve immediately.


Mmmmmmm it was perfect!!!! Next time I might add some ginger and use soba noodles for a variation πŸ™‚

Dessert was vanilla tea and a handful of biscotti



(I also had a tiny square of my chocolate. Obvi)

Ryan is on his way over right now to watch the Ohio State game. My dad and uncle are actually there in Arizona for the game. They are diehard fans for those buckeyes!!

See you in the morning! Go Buckeyes! =)

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  • bee
    January 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    love nigella!!! her approach to cooking is so inviting.

  • Alyssa
    January 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    What a lovely and appropriate soapbox you have πŸ™‚ I completely agree with you about Americans needing to over-hall their relationship with food, aka moderation πŸ˜›

  • Marissa
    January 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I’m from AZ and we have the game on now!

    Great point about moderation!

  • Amy C.
    January 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I love your viewpoint on eating in moderation. Next time I get a chocolate bar, I’m going to think of you and eat it the same way. It’s really all about portion sizes. Plus it’s so much nicer to savor a single piece of chocolate rather than eat the whole thing in one sitting! I’m going to have to check out Nigella’s cookbook. That recipe looks great!

  • Bev
    January 5, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    You have a wonderful way with words . The noodles look so good. I love Nigella. She is so classy. I’m from OHIO……love the buckeyes. They just make another field goal. GO BUCKS !!!

  • Meghan
    January 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    ahhh amen, balance is truly what it’s all about.

  • Fancy
    January 5, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Well said, Jenna! Thanks for writing that, it’s so important:)

  • Shelby
    January 5, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Love your view on food. Such a healthy perspective =)

    LOVE the idea of yogurt in a smoothie…I’ve heard of it before but it just looks so good on your blog!

  • Meg
    January 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Fabulous noodle bowls! I agree with your thoughts on moderation and balance!

  • Ali
    January 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Wow, everything looks delicious, but that smoothie really caught my eye… I never would have thought of putting nuts in my smoothie, but I bet it tastes great… and adds a protein blast! Also love the Publix story… I am definitely trying to work on the moderation aspect of my diet!
    Have a great night!

  • VeggieGirl
    January 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Amen, girl!! Love your philosophy.

    Hooray for Nigella!! She’s incredible.

  • Andrea (Andrea's Eats)
    January 5, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Very true, well said. That is funny that she made a comment.

    Your dinner looks so good.

  • Taylor Leigh
    January 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I have been following your blog for many months now and I love it! I know that you moved to Tampa, which I visited my friends there this New Years! I was hoping to see you there, lol…..because my friends live in Hyde Park! We almost ate at the pizza place you went to, but instead we went to the Lime, which is so Yummy!! We also went into the new Greenwise Publix- which I’m guessing is where you work at! I want to start a blog- but I know it takes so much time!! I just want you to know that I think your blog is awesome and good luck with your new job!

  • Taylor Leigh
    January 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Oh by the way…….GO GATORS!!!!

  • Christina
    January 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Excellent post!! (Lovely meal, too!) oh and GO BUCKEYES!!!!!

  • Rose
    January 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    How great that you shared that tip with the cashier. It’s small interactions like those that make people stop and think about the way they’re eating – it’s inspiring, that’s for sure!

  • Laura
    January 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    You have such a great philosophy on food! I love your blog because, as someone who as struggled with my weight for years, it’s nice to see that it really is okay to enjoy food and be healthy and fit at the same time.

    I love Nigella too! You can really see that she has a passion for food.

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    January 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I love the Endangered Species bars as well. The Panther bar is my favorite. It’s 88%, but it doesn’t taste nearly as bitter as other brands. Love it, but I do try to eat 2-3 squares at a time…although I will admit to eating an entire bar at once…okay, I’ve done it several times. πŸ™‚ That was sweet of you to make dinner for my mom. Hope you enjoyed yoga!

  • BethT
    January 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    You know, I don’t think people realize how offensive comments like those are to thin people. It’s like saying to an overweight person, “YOU are eating that?? You’re so huge!!!” It’s annoying. Glad you explained to her that ANYONE can enjoy treats in moderation!

  • Olga
    January 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I agree with you, Americans really need to re-consider their eating habits for sure. People always wonder why the Italian and the French eat pasta and drink lots of wine and are skinner than we are. The key is moderation! You make a great point about not viewing food as the enemy!

  • Candace
    January 5, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    hey jenna! can you recommend good yoga clothes/brands and a yoga mat? thanks!

  • Justy2003
    January 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Definitely agree with your comment on American portion sizes. Everything in moderation is key πŸ˜‰

    My boyfriend and I are watching the game…we’re both from Ohio but live in Texas now. I’ve never been an OSU fan, so I’m rooting for Texas and he’s rooting for OSU…we’ll see who ends up happy πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    January 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I love your blog Jenna and your food philosophy. I think it is bit rude of the girl to comment on your purchase like that. For all she knows you could have major food issues and that one comment could trigger you and send you spiralling. I’m glad you gave her a talk about enjoyment of food.
    I must say though, I was a bit taken back at a previous post where you said you were ‘bad’ for having a diet Dr Pepper on the way to a wedding. For me, viewing food as good or bad is labeling food as something moral or immoral and I don’t think food is meant to be that way. I’m guessing you meant bad, as in all the sweeteners and such but calling yourself bad, in regards to food is the opposite of what I think you want your relationship to food to be.
    Once again, your blog is one my daily list and you have given me some great meal ideas. Thanks.

    • jenna
      January 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm


      I was saying that the other day in a very light and joking manner (although its hard to joke online! haha). However, I DO consider fast food and soda to be rather not-so-good though because of the processed nastiness in them and fake things like artificial sweeteners. I strive to eat the REAL thing in moderation and eat/drink things with ingredients I can pronounce.

  • katie s
    January 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    GO BUCKEYES!!!! My boyfriend is there now cheering them on too!!!

  • Danielle
    January 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story from publix. I recently found all these food blogs and realized how I need to retrain my brain when it comes to food. It really has been an eye opening expirence. I challenged myself to live by this philosophy for the year. It’s still early but I feel so much better already. I’m sad it took me 23 years to realize this but better late then never.

  • Jenny
    January 5, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Such a good point Jenna. I feel like society today has a “trained” mindset. We forget that this isn’t going to be our last piece of chocolate, last glass of wine, last anything! We can have a little each day and be fine, but it’s very hard to convince a “trained” mind of that.

    I LOVE Nigella too! She is very fun to watch as well πŸ™‚

  • Sharon
    January 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Wow, awesome with savoring the chocolate and such! You do make such a good point about it! Definitely going to keep that in mind!

  • Ashley H
    January 5, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I love Nigella. She was the cook who turned me on to cooking. I just love watching her cook no matter what she is making. She is a real woman.
    I also love to way she writes her cookbook and invites you to read them like a novel. She is truly someone who loves food.

  • Rachel
    January 6, 2009 at 12:04 am

    That’s such a great point about the chocolate bar.

    I am trying to like greek yogurt. Do you prefer the 0% fage over the 2%- is there really a taste difference?

  • HeatherBakes
    January 6, 2009 at 12:43 am

    LOVE Nigella. Her cookbooks are so fun to read. Do you have Nigella Express? The chicken cacciatore recipe in that one is amazing, and I make the roasted chicken in How To Eat all the time.

  • Leah
    January 6, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Is that “Green & Black’s Organic” chocolate you speak about? I’ve seen it on the blog before. If so, I love that brand!! I got a bunch for Christmas and I savour a piece of it every night too. It’s something I look forward to!!

  • Kelly
    January 6, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Ok./….ditto what everyone else has said! I LOVE your philosphy on eating/health. And also like what someone else had mentioned….this year I am trying hard to “normalize” my screwed up 24 year long relationship with food! These food blogs are great! I have written down afew days worth of your meals to see what “normal” looks like….so THANKS!

  • Sarah
    January 6, 2009 at 4:45 am

    I totally agree with your way of eating! I live in Switzerland and I always thought the American doggy-bag habit was great and hoped we would have it in Europe as well, until I realized we don’t because portions are way smaller in restaurants here and we don’t leave half of it! We also don’t eat as many weird “low-fat, low-carb, low-everything” foods and most of the Swiss people are thin, because we eat real, satisfying food.

    I love reading your blog everyday (on company time of course…)!

  • Karen
    January 6, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Hi — this is my first day commenting, but I’ve been reading your blog for a while πŸ™‚

    I definitely agree with you about moderate eating, a seemingly lost “art” in the US. I also agree that all foods can potentially be fine, so long as they are approached with a spirit of moderation. But I also have to say that some people have a serious problem with food. I consider myself one of these people. There have been countless times when I’ve sat down to a meal, intending to eat moderately, have a small portion, try a tiny bit of everything, etc. and then I wind up eating myself insane. Which is why, for me, it’s better to keep things like chocolate bars out of the house completely — no matter how much I tell myself I will only have one or two squares, I will wind up eating half the bar, or more, at a single sitting. I think there is such a thing as food addiction, and it can be as hard to overcome as smoking or alcoholism in some cases.

    I lost a lot of weight about four years ago, totally overhauling my relationship to food, but these issues are still there, though I have learned to control them so that I don’t regain ALL the weight. One of the things I’ve learned, though, is that true moderation with food MIGHT be a field too far for many people, so it’s better for some people to avoid certain foods altogether. For me, I can NEVER have only one tiny piece of bread, so as limiting as it seems, it’s usually better if I don’t have any. The same goes for chocolate, cereal, oatmeal, etc. Part of the reason I like your blog is so I can watch someone else enjoy the foods I’m better off avoiding! πŸ˜€

  • Karen
    January 6, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Oops — I just wanted to add that my ability to eat with some moderation has definitely improved as I went through my weightloss journey. My eating is MUCH less distorted and I binge a lot less (almost never) too. My point with my earlier comment is that as terrible as it might seem, there are some things I cannot eat in true moderation. It kinda blows sometimes, but not as much as gaining lots of weight blows lol. People have different biochemistry and psychology, especially people who have been very obese in the past. I could never get away with eating as many carbs as you do — I eat vicariously through your blog sometimes lol.

  • Kim
    January 6, 2009 at 7:02 am

    It’s so true about people needing to be re-educated about food and eating, I could not agree more.

    Same goes for Nigella, she’s fantastic.

  • Sarah M
    January 6, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Awesome perspective today Jenna!

    I am very guilty of eating a whole chocolate bar in one sitting. Chocolate has always been one of my favorite things. I’m going to buy a bar of good dark chocolate this week or next week and challenge myself to see see how long it can last. Then I’ll try to make a habit of that.

  • Kristie
    January 6, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Great perspective on food consumption in general. It frustrates me that the girl said she could “never” do that. Come on people, NEVER say never. Anyone can eat mindfully and show resistance. And of course, we all go overboard once in a while and overindulge but there’s nothing wrong with that either as long as you’re aware and mindful of what you’re eating the majority of the time. Foods are so much better enjoyed and more appreciated when they aren’t all scarfed down in one go anyway!

  • Jenna 2
    January 6, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I love your philosophy! Thats so random the girl would say anything to you! A bit rude actually! Your dinner looks so good! πŸ™‚

  • hk
    January 6, 2009 at 8:03 am

    totally agree! well said πŸ™‚ dinner looks great, and I keep craving smoothies after seeing yours, yum!

  • Scott
    January 6, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I couldn’t agree more about your “everything in moderation” comments. The atkins diet never made any sense to me, how can someone exercise without carbs?! It’s not possible! As for the chocolate, I’m a one square at a time person too. I like to buy really good dark chocolates and enjoy a square every now and then. A bar can last weeks in my kitchen, even with my wife taking a square every now and then as well!

    Also, your tea bag looks like Forte tea, is it?

    • jenna
      January 6, 2009 at 11:13 am


      Yes it is Forte brand! My mom got me the “dessert tea” set for a Christmas present and I’m slowly making my way through it. I love it!


      Honestly, I think its just very unique to oneself and you learn to listen to your body and eat mindfully. Creating a balanced meal and then stopping. You learn to feel yourself get full but not too full. Its not really about filling up on salad but more about taking a small portion of pasta, a small portion of meat and a medium sized portion of salad. Creating balance on your plate and then when you feel yourself starting to get full, putting your fork down, drinking a glass of water and stopping.

  • Colleen
    January 6, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Ahhhh…moderation! Something I was doing so well with, but after the holidays I’m having a hard time reining my appetite in! I’m also running a little more due to being out of school, but this is some crazy appetite! Waiting 20 minutes after eating helps me to feel full, but it’s the sweets I crave (even when I’m full!)! What’s a girl to do?

  • runjess
    January 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I hate it when people point out that I’m eating sweets (or ask me what size I wear). Just because I’m thin doesn’t make it polite.

    But anyway, I love noodle bowls!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    January 6, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Nigella is awesome. I saw a Chefography on her and found it fascinating that she has such a healthy relationship with food, even though she grew up with a mother who suffered from eating disorders. I strive to be more like her (and you, Jenna) each and every day!

  • MLT
    January 6, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Jenna, I agree with you 100% on your food philosophy. I have always been slim but I eat everything in moderation and it works for me. (I know this is not so easy for people with more deep-rooted emotional eating issues). So, thanks for sharing that!

    I do have to agree with runjess and the other posters above who commented on the cashier’s rudeness. I was actually really appalled by that. I don’t think I would have handled it with nearly the grace you did (and part of me feels like I would have had to be rude back to make a point!) I think it’s totally unacceptable for a cashier, waiter, barista, etc. to make comments about a customer’s weight or appearance. I also think it’s rude when acquaintences make comments like that. When I have received those comments in the past they always make me extremely uncomfortable and I try to figure out how to change the subject, and then I get resentful because I don’t think it’s fair for someone to put someone else on the spot like that. Part of it is that I often feel like comments like that have some kind of undercurrent to them- something like jealousy, wistfulness, sadness about themselves, judgment on me, or some other emotion that is coming out in a very passive-aggressive way.
    Wow, that was a long rant. But does anyone else feel that way? I dont’ like to bring this up even with friends because some of my friends are rounder and probably have not received many comments like the one Jenna got from the cashier and I don’t want to be offensive or insensitive to them. But I’m curious if I’m overreacting??

  • LadyLara
    January 6, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    While I whole-heartedly agree with your viewpoint on moderation and balance, I also think the majority of people do not have iron clad self control. As much as I know about nutrition, it is hard to stop after a little bite of something delicious. That goody will just haunt me, being in the house, whispering come taste me! I’m much better keeping the house free of such temptations. I think most people are like this.

  • Amy
    January 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I agree with LadyLara. Humans are biologically progammed to want to keep eating sweets/fatty foods – it goes back to our caveman days when food was not readily available. There are, of course, naturally thin people who do not have to fight these urges, but they are unique. I think it is difficult for a naturally thin person to understand what it is like to have your body and mind fighting you every day. I do believe it is possible to overcome your biology, but it is much more challenging for some than for others.

  • melissa
    January 6, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    nigella is food porn at its finest. I love her accent!

  • michelle
    January 7, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Your smoothies look so amazing!!! The color alone is enough to draw me right in!!!

    Thanks dear for sharing!!!

  • michelle
    January 7, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Oh and i have to relearn how to eat chocolate. I am always like OK just a small piece. Which invariably leads to the entire thing!!!! :O)